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M23 rebels have started encircling the strategic town of Butembo in North Kivu where the UPDF and Congolese soldiers have been hunting down the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) fighters.

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The insurgents, who are reportedly backed by Rwanda, started the long march to Butembo after capturing the strategic town of Kanyabayonga this past Friday.

On Sunday night, M23 rebels seized Lubero town which boasts about 120,000 residents.

The insurgents told residents of Lubero that they were enroute to Butembo, located about 280 kms north of Goma.

The rapid advance of the M23 rebels has left DRC in shock with President Felix Tshisekedi accusing Rwandan armed forces of conducting an open act of aggression against his country.

The rebels now control Bunaganana, Rutshuru, Kichanga, Kirolirwe, Mushake, Rubaya, Kishishe, Kibirizi, Rwindi, Kanyabayonga and Lubero.

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