The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has declared three days of mourning for the number of civilians it says were killed by M23 rebels on November 29, 2022 in Kisheshe.
The statement released by the M23 group says that the Congolese government manipulated the numbers for political gain, and wanted to leave a bad image for M23.
This group says that the figures that have been published, where the Congolese government says that the killed are 50 civilians, some newspapers in Congo say that the dead are about 120, are all lies because there is no evidence.
M23 said that on 29/11/2022 in Kisheshe, there was a fight where the Congolese State forces together with FDLR, PARECO, NYATURA, ACPLS and Mai Mai attacked the areas where M23 is located, as well as the leader of PARECO/FF called Sendugu Museveni says that they occupied Tongo, Bambo and Kalengera.
The M23 group then followed the attack to Kilima and Kibirizi.
The statement of M23 says, “In those battles, the enemy not only lost Kisheshe, but also left the dead bodies of fighters who died in the battle, including the leader of Mai Mai called PONDU and 20 fighters who are counted in the coalition FARDC, FDLR, PARECO, NYATURA, ACPLS and Mai Mai.”
The M23 group says that 8 civilians were killed in the fighting by stray bullets, and it also released their names.
They include Fumbo, Jams, Mutampera, Fils Shakwira, Fils Jams, Mama Kamzungu, Semutobe, and Paluku Siwatula Letakamba Andre.
It is the first time that M23 has spoken about this murder, and it says that it calls for an independent investigation both on what happened in Kasheshe, and on the airstrikes and long-range artillery attacks carried out by the Congolese forces in the districts. M23 controls.
The statement the Congolese State Spokesperson, Patrick Muyaya read on Thursday, December 02, 2022 said that President Felix Tshisekedi requested an investigation into the incident.
He said that the country is mourning the civilian deaths of “up to 100”, and there will be three days of mourning from Saturday, December 03, to Monday, December 05, 2022.
The newspaper Actualite.cd reports that one of the residents gave information, called Rukundo who lives in Kisheshe, there was a fight between Mai Mai and FDLR, who fought with M23, then the fighters of Mai Mai and FDLR fled, “it is the rebels of M23 who killed the confused people and the rebels who were against them.”
Actualite.cd reports that a health official told the AFP news agency that 117 people died at the time.
He said that at Bunyama there were 33; Kilama, a Seventh-day Adventist Church numbered 64; High-centered math 4; Counting 4; and Kiko is counted 12.
The M23 statement said it “apologizes for the deaths of civilians”.