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DRC M23 rebels close in on Goma, hundreds flee

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Fighting between government forces and M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo has edged towards the eastern city of Goma, an army spokesperson confirmed, after violence flared up again over the weekend.

M23 forces briefly captured Goma in a major offensive in 2012, and have attacked government troops in the villages of Kibumba, Rugari and Tongo – sparking hundreds of residents to flee, taking the total displaced number since October 20 up to 188,000 according to UN data.

Peace talks brokered by ex-Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta are penciled in for the end of this month, while talks have been held recently to smooth tensions with Rwanda – whom Congo accuses of backing the Tutsi-led M23 group.

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