Monday, December 17, 2012

Change of M23 Tactics: Snipers at Goma, residents say

(Congolese National Police officers on their way to Goma after M23
withdrawal, November 30, 2012)


Goma's police second-in-command, Major Bertin Chirumana, was gunned
down in the night of last Friday to Saturday (14 to 15 December).

Major Bertin Chirumana was an element of GEMI, the contingent of the
National Congolese Police newly deployed in Goma after the withdrawal
of M23 from the provincial capital of North Kivu.

City authorities are treating the assassination as a mere sordid crime
and have even taken into custody one "suspect."

They're also blaming the crime wave engulfing the city on the more
than 1,500 inmates still at large after the mass prison break that
occurred when M23 seized the city.

But Goma residents think otherwise, and call the arrested suspect a "scapegoat."

They believe that M23 have left behind highly-trained snipers with
powerful sniper rifles at different quarters of the city.

They point to several residents recently cut down in an unexplained manner.

The alleged change of tactics by M23 has already reaped the palpable
benefit of plunging Goma into mass hysteria.

Residents have turned into vigilantes, lynching suspected criminals, a
MONUSCO peacekeeper told Radio France Internationale (RFI).

Those residents who can afford it are leaving Goma in droves, boarding
Bukavu-bound shuttle boats.

Two separate Goma sources told me today that at least 500 residents
have been leaving the city each day since the assassination of Major
Bertin Chirumana.

--With Radio France Internationale (RFI)--


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