The conflict in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has become more intense in 2022. The UN reports that 50,000 people have fled since the middle of October. November began with an escalation in the use of force, as the government utilised two Sukhoi-25 ground attack aircraft to bomb positions held by the M23 armed group. The fight against M23 was also reinforced this month by the arrival in the DRC of more forces sent by the East Africa Community (EAC) member states to assist the DRC government, including 1,000 each from Uganda and Kenya. On 24 November, significant apparent progress was made as the governments of the DRC and Rwanda agreed to an “immediate cease-fire” and called upon M23 to withdraw from the areas it has occupied. However, M23 leaders said such an agreement did not involve them. The UN reports that on 29-30 November, M23 fighters massacred 131 civilians.
While conflicts in various parts of the country have been ongoing for many years, there has been an increase in the level of violence in recent months. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that by the beginning of October, 142 people had been killed and a further 27,000 – most of who are women and children - had been displaced by inter-ethnic violence in the north-western provinces of Kwilu and Mai Ndombe. Fighting also intensified in the eastern provinces, as the M23 rebel group took control of two towns in the North Kivu province. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has accused Rwanda of supporting M23 and expelled the Rwandan ambassador. A further 33 people were killed in clashes with the CODECO militia in Ituri province.