The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has ceded ground in the battle against the M23 rebel group. Troops have been withdrawn from the eastern military base of Rumangabo. The UN troops have been supporting Congolese forces in a battle against the M23. M23 launched a new offensive in October and seized the town of Kiwanja on Saturday after months of a relatively calm environment.
The UN mission is known as MONUSCO and announced on Tuesday that the withdrawal from Rumangabo was strategic in order to prepare for next steps. The front line between the Congolese military and the M23 was calm for several weeks until October 20. The loss of the military base is a large setback for the DRC in this conflict and is a blow to the security outlook in the conflict-hit east of the country. The crisis has also deepened tensions between the DRC and Rwanda over its alleged support of the M23 group, which it denies. Over 90,000 people have fled their homes since fighting resumed between the Congolese military and M23 on October 20.