Congo M23 rebels claim control of smartphone mineral mining town – by Sonia Rolley, Erikas Mwisi Kambale and Ange Kasongo (Reuters/CNBC Africa – May 2, 2024)

M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have taken control of Rubaya, a key mining town for the smartphone mineral coltan, following days of intense fighting, a rebel spokesman said.

Congo’s east has been plagued by violence since the 1990s, killing millions as struggles over national identity, ethnicity, and resources saw neighbouring countries invade and a myriad of armed groups spring up.

Willy Ngoma, the Tutsi-led M23 military spokesman, told Reuters the town, in North Kivu, was under their control after they went after other armed groups in the region including the Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, which is composed of ethnic Hutus.

Congo’s army spokesman for its operations against the rebel group, Lieutenant Colonel Guillaume Njike, told Reuters it could not confirm if the rebels had seized the town.

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