Sunday, December 2, 2012

Maps of Goma Gisenyi, UN report of troop movements

The Gisenyi Friends Church (which uses the same facilities as Friends Peace Center) is where I spent much of my time during my stay in Gisenyi Spring 2011.  It is a new feeling for me to read this leaked UN report about the Rwandan army crossing this very Gisenyi/Goma border to attack the Congolese army, just this past November 19.

Although I suspect this new feeling of the imminent reality of war will become a frequent guest, I hope I will never let it become a friend.

  • Maps and Aerial views of Gisenyi and Goma, with the Gisenyi Friends Church, co-located with Gisenyi Peace Center, marked.  (Click on images to expand.)
  • "Blow-by-blow" quote from the leaked UN report of where the troop crossings were, basically on this map.

"When M23 [Congolese rebel group] progressed towards Goma on 19 November 2012, RDF [Rwandan government's army] units operated alongside M23 in combat at the airport and close to one of Goma's border posts into Rwanda.  There, RDF and FARDC [Congolese government's army] soldiers exchanged heavy fire across the border. At 17:30, RDF troops openly entered into Goma through one of the two official border crossings between Rwanda and the DRC and briefly engaged in combat with the FARDC before retreating two hours later. 
On 20 November 2012, M23 defeated the FARDC at the Goma airport, and a mixture of M23 and RDF troops clandestinely entered into Goma from the Rwandan town of Gisenyi through small streets situated between the town's two official border crossings.  These troops together took control over the entire city, marching throgh downtown dressed in a combination of RDF and new M23 uniforms (see annex 9)..."
Link to the leaked report, posted by the NY Times: