The Democratic Republic of Congo’s army has denied allegations on the presence of Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group in the country.
Congolese army has been battling the M23 insurgency that has spread to more swathes in the eastern region of the country.
There are reports of the presence of Russian mercenaries in North Kivu province on the government’s invitation to help deal with the rebel group.
M23 spokesperson Willy Ngoma said that they had fought a joint team of the Congolese army and the mercenaries last week in Tongo and Nyamilima fronts in Rutshuru area.
The army spokesperson Major General Sylvain Ekenge however denied the claims.
“The Wagner group is not operating in DR Congo,” he told press men. Russian mercenaries have a presence in DR Congo’s northern neighbour, Central African Republic, where in 2021 they played a role in fighting rebels.
Few months ago, in London meeting, Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi said he would not bring in Russian mercenaries to deal with the rebel activity his country.
“I know it’s fashionable now . . .[but] no, we don’t need to use mercenaries,” he was quoted as saying by the Financial Times.
The unrest in eastern DR Congo has displaced thousands of people and killed hundreds of people.
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