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Regional Powers Aware that the Threat in Congo cannot be Reduced to M23

In the wake of renewed attacks by rebels in the eastern Congo, regional organizations and neighboring states are doubling down on efforts to solve the conflict. M23 rebels chose the 20th anniversary of an attack on the city of Goma to target villages in Rutshuru territory, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) on Sunday. Fighting extended to Kibumba, around 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Goma, raising the specter of another incursion by the insurgents. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that there were civilian casualties. More than 262,000 people were displaced since the outbreak of clashes in Rutshuru territory in March, OCHA said. Uganda announced on Monday that it will send 1,000 troops to neighboring Congo by the end of this month. Kenyan troops, deployed as part of an East African Community (EAC) force, recently arrived in the volatile area. The regional force will “enforce peace on those who are hellbent on creating instability,” Kenyan President William Ruto told a media briefing in Congo’s capital Kinshasa. Researcher Felix Ndahinda voiced doubts that military solutions would settle the region.  “They know very well that the UN has tried for more than 20 years, but hasn’t managed,” the lecturer at Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences told DW.