Rebel fighters with the 23 March Movement (M23) have entered the city of Goma, a provincial capital in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which has suffered mass upheaval over recent days due to the advance of the rebels and their clashes with national army troops, according to a UN spokesperson.
"The situation in and around Goma has reached a critical stage," added the spokesperson, Eduardo Del Buey. "The M23 military advances have continued despite the demands of the Security Council, the Secretary-General, the African Union and others including countries in the region, for the M23 to immediately stop their attacks."
Addressing a news briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, he added, "Reports indicate that the M23 has wounded civilians, continued abductions of children and women, destroyed and looted property, and intimidated journalists and those who have attempted to resist their control."
Del Buey noted that the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) is closely monitoring the situation, with its peacekeepers in control of Goma's airport, and conducing patrols.