‘‘I want Kabila to leave because he hasn’t helped the people and our country hasn’t moved forward since he came to power,’’ said one of the marchers, Augustin Katombo. ‘‘I think M23 should stay because we don’t want the army to come back.’’
About 1,500 U.N. peacekeepers were in Goma when M23 attacked on Nov. 20 and government forces fled, but the well-armed U.N. peacekeepers did not intervene, saying they lacked the mandate to do so. One of their main missions is to protect civilians.
A U.N. group of experts said in a detailed report last week that M23 is backed by neighboring Rwanda, which has provided them with battalions of fighters and sophisticated arms, like night vision goggles.
Callimachi contributed from Dakar, Senegal. Matthew Lee in Washington and Associated Press photographer Jerome Delay also contributed to this report from Goma, Congo.