U.N. troops reinforce Congolese army in regional capital

Story highlights

  • U.N. spokesman: Extra troops reinforcing regional capital on border with Rwanda
  • M23 rebels have threatened to take over the town
  • One unit is Congolese elite battalion trained by U.S. troops

The United Nations and Congolese army are sending additional soldiers to the troubled regional capital of Goma, a U.N. spokesman said Wednesday.

"Troops are being deployed at the town entrance, on the road that goes to Rutshuru," said Alexander Essome, MONUSCO regional spokesperson.

MONUSCO, the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of Congo, "has been reinforced with extra troops in the area," Essome said.

Rutshuru, 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Goma, was taken by M23 rebels on July 1, but they retreated within days and the Congolese regular army moved back into the town Wednesday.

The Congolese army is dispatching a U.S. trained elite battalion to Goma, where most shops were closed Wednesday because of threats from M23 to take Goma.

The M23, linked to Laurent Nkunda's CNDP rebel group, still controls the town of Bunagana.

Goma is in on the border with Rwanda on Lake Kivu.