Residents of Nyiragongo Territory in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are on edge due to escalating conflict between armed groups, particularly involving the Wazalendo faction. The clashes, centered around the town of Kanyarucinya, have intensified in recent days, leading to civilian casualties and displacements.
The conflict has deepened within Wazalendo itself, with internal divisions resulting in clashes between factions affiliated with APCLS and UFDPC, both under the umbrella of Wazalendo. The situation worsened after a UFDPC member was reportedly attacked by APCLS fighters, triggering retaliatory violence.
Mambo Kawaya, the leader of the Nyiragongo Civil Society, confirmed the intensifying violence and expressed concerns about the deteriorating security situation. “In recent days, there has been a surge in violence within Wazalendo, despite attempts by the military leadership to intervene,” he stated.
The ongoing strife within Wazalendo stems from internal power struggles, economic challenges, and disputes over resources. Some members accuse their leaders of corruption, alleging misappropriation of funds while the fighters struggle with poverty, scarcity of resources, and deteriorating living conditions.
The conflict is part of the broader unrest in the region, with historical enmity between Wazalendo and the M23 rebel group further complicating the situation. The clashes have led to civilian casualties and displacement, with M23 fighters reportedly advancing from Kitchanga to Mweso, a town located 119 kilometers from Goma.