After fighting with the M23 on Tuesday morning, the Congolese army left town. Things calmed down in the evening; we didn’t hear a single gunshot. Today [Wednesday], there is still no electricity [which was cut off Sunday], so there is also no running water. Lots of people are heading to the great lakes with plastic barrels to stock up on drinking water. Most of the stores are still closed, but there are some vendors selling food in the streets.
Photo and videos taken this morning, as Goma residents headed to the great lakes to stock up on water.
People were very curious to hear what the M23 had to say. I saw hundreds of people walking to the stadium this morning [Wednesday]. Goma’s residents want their lives to get back to normal – they want electricity to return and want to know what the M23 has in mind for them.
Crowds showed up at the Volcans football stadium in Goma Wednesday morning to hear the M23 speak. Photo by our Observer Alain Wandimoyi.
M23 rebels patrolling the streets of Goma on Tuesday evening. Some local residents applaud them, and one man shouts acclaim for Rwanda.
Along the roads, I’ve seen a lot of objects abandoned by soldiers from the Congolese army in their haste to leave town: shoes, helmets, and even some uniforms and suitcases. Many soldiers fled as soon as the M23 arrived, and dressed in civilian clothing to avoid getting killed. Some stayed and gave up their weapons this morning [Wednesday]. The M23 says that about 100 soldiers and policemen came to them to lay down their weapons.