GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo Nov 30 A
dispute over ammunition and equipment left by Congo government
forces in the eastern city of Goma is threatening to hold up a
planned withdrawal by M23 rebels who want to take the materiel
with them, rebel and U.N. officials said on Friday.
M23 rebels, who seized Goma on Nov. 20 but have agreed to
pull out under a deal brokered by regional governments, want to
take with them a store of munitions and equipment abandoned by
the government army FARDC. The military supplies were currently
in the charge of U.N. peacekeepers at Goma airport.
But the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo (MONUSCO) was
refusing to hand over the airport arsenal to the rebels.
"This is FARDC ammunition and does not belong to M23 so I
don't think we have to hand it over," MONUSCO's spokesman in
Kinshasa Madnodje Mounoubai told Reuters by phone.
M23 military chief Colonel Sultani Makenga accused the U.N.
peacekeepers of "blocking" M23's withdrawal operations.
"We have a store that has our logistical equipment and now
MONUSCO is telling us not to get our equipmemt. We can't agree
to that," he told reporters in Sake, west of Goma.