By Raymond Baguma
The M23 rebels have threatened to abandon the current peace negotiations in Uganda if the government's army doesn't stop the offensive within 48 hours.
Rena Abandi, the head of M23 rebel delegation at the Kampala dialogue, condemned an attack by government troops on their positions at Kanyamahoro, located 20 kilometers north of Goma.
“We lost one solider and condemn the resumption of fighting despite the ongoing peace process. We cannot talk and fight at the same time. Kinshasa has refused to sign the bilateral ceasefire,” said Abandi.
Agencies quoted Colonel Olivier Hamuli, DRC army spokesman saying that the army carried out the attack to “neutralise rebel threats” on Goma and civilian settlements.
The attack came a day after the DRC accused M23 rebels of undermining negotiations in Kampala and imposing illegitimate restrictions on Congolese air space.
The M23 rebels on Saturday fired at a UN peace-keeping helicopter belonging to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Congo (MONUSCO).
Amani Kabasha, the M23 spokesperson said the rebels had fired warning shots at the unarmed helicopter because it was violating their air
The latest fighting marks the end of a lull in gunfire since the resumption of peace negotiations in Kampala in August.
This comes after Congolese troops clashed with M23 rebels, ending weeks of a lull in fighting in the restive North Kivu province.
A 14-day deadline to conclude the talks, given by regional Heads of State under the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), expired last month with the two sides yet to agree.
Uganda holds the rotational chairmanship of the ICGLR and has been hosting the peace negotiations between since December 2012.
However, in December this year the Republic of Congo will assume the chair of the regional body under President Denis Sassou Nguesso.