In the early hours of January 19th, a significant military operation unfolded in the territory of Masisi, North Kivu. A drone operated by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) targeted a stronghold of the M23 rebel group in Kilolirwe, located within the Bashali Kaembe group. Local sources reported that the drone strikes occurred between 4 and 5 a.m. local time, resulting in the destruction of the rebel position.
The incident was confirmed by the M23 on their official platform, where they reported additional consequences of the attack. According to their statement, the drone strike not only dismantled the rebel position but also led to collateral damage. The M23 reported the loss of civilian lives, the killing of livestock, and the destruction of private property, including a cheese factory on the farm of L’Espoir.
This recent drone strike marks another episode in a series of similar military actions undertaken by the Congolese army against the M23 rebellion in the region. The conflict in North Kivu has been a persistent challenge, with both military and non-military casualties frequently reported. The use of drones by the Congolese army represents a tactical shift in their operations against rebel groups, indicating a new phase in the ongoing conflict.
The Congolese army is struggling to contain the M23 rebel group. In seeking to reverse the balance of power, Kinshasa has bought 9 units of CASC Rainbow CH-4 military drones from China.