Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rutshuru hasn't fallen yet (Radio Okapi) & MP François Nzekuye stretches notion of tactical withdrawal

In a report published this evening, Radio Okapi asserts that Rutshuru
has not fallen, though "despite the apparent calm" some residents are
fleeing the town and heading towards Goma and Butembo.

Some businesses have even opened up in Rutshuru, but this semblance of
normality didn't deter those residents determined to put as much
distance between them and the M23 insurgents who've seized the nearby
border crossing of Bunagana. There were scenes of residents mobbing
buses at "parkings" that serve as bus stations at the hamlet of

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According to an earlier Radio Okapi report, FARDC troops at first
evacuated Nyongera and Pena barracks, but they have since returned to

Other Radio Okapi sources in the area claim that M23 insurgents may
have seized the hamlets of Rangira and Rwanguba, "respectively located
at 4 and 12 km east of Rutshuru-centre," which they are actively
seeking to seize from the FARDC.

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If the blietzkrieg of M23 on Bunagana is any indication, then the fall
of Rutshuru is only a matter days--unless the FARDC get their act
together. And I don't see that happening any time soon.

Appearing on Kinshasa TV channel Télé-50, PPRD MP François Nzekuye who
represents the Rutshuru constituency in the National Assembly (photo
above), downplayed M23 military success in Bunagana. Nzekuye
attributed FARDC troops' "tactical withdrawal" to the fact that they
were overwhelmed by a Rwanda Defence Forces brigade!

That's stretching the notion of "tactical withdrawal" a bit too far.
If what the FARDC did at Bunagana was a tactical withdraw, then what
would a "rout" look like?



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