Guns, Tanks and Wounded Men—This Battle Is Raging NOW

Joseph Kay is there as combat erupts in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Guns, Tanks and Wounded Men—This Battle Is Raging NOW Guns, Tanks and Wounded Men—This Battle Is Raging NOW

Uncategorized August 22, 2013 0

A Congolese army tank drives towards the front a couple of kilometers away from fighting northwest of Goma in Kanyaruchinya. Joseph Kay photo Guns,... Guns, Tanks and Wounded Men—This Battle Is Raging NOW
A Congolese army tank drives towards the front a couple of kilometers away from fighting northwest of Goma in Kanyaruchinya. Joseph Kay photo

Guns, Tanks and Wounded Men—This Battle Is Raging NOW 

Joseph Kay is there as combat erupts in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Fighting flared yesterday night, Aug. 21, after a month of calm around Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Negotiations continue between rebels from the M23 group and the DRC government in Kampala, but that hasn’t prevented bullets flying, tanks roaring and men falling wounded on the muddy field of battle.

The Forces Armees de la Republique Congolaise —the FARDC, or Congolese army—claimed it was attacked by M23 yesterday evening. Soldiers said the rebels shot a mortar into government territory.

M23 formed in April 2012 when many soldiers defected from the national army. The U.N. Group of Experts has documented previous support for M23 from Rwanda and Uganda, but recently found evidence only for“limited” support from Rwanda and no sign of ongoing support from Uganda. Last winter M23 briefly captured Goma. Fighting has been sporadic this year.

The FARDC said it is retaliating to reclaim three strategic hills in the foothills of the volcano Nyarogongo, where M23 holds strategic positions including mortars. Mortar fire was exchanged this morning.

This is the face of modern African warfare.

A FARDC soldier crosses open space under fire to carry ammunition to the front line northwest of Goma. Joseph Kay photo
FARDC infantry carry an injured man a couple of hundred meters from the front line on a makeshift stretcher. Very rudimentary medicine — a tourniquet for his gunshot leg and an injection for pain relief. They had to carry him around three kilometers back to where the doctor tended to him. Joseph Kay photo.
The injured soldier. He was shot through the thigh. Joseph Kay photo
The soldier being attended to by military medics at the operational base in Kanyaruchinya. Joseph Kay photo
A FARDC commando truck carries an injured soldier through Goma to the military hospital. Another soldier lies dead next to him. Joseph Kay photo
FARDC soldiers 100 meters from the front line take a break from fighting under cover as bullets whiz overhead. Joseph Kay photo
A FARDC soldier waits at the rear base to be deployed to the front line. Joseph Kay photo
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