GOMA, Congo (AP) — Several hundred Congo army soldiers returned to the key eastern city of Goma, as rebels remained poised nearby and a possible fight loomed for the city of 1 million.
About 700 government army troops reentered Goma Monday in trucks which arrived at Katindo barracks. Crowds gathered to cheer and sing and some women rushed forward to kiss the troops.
The soldiers were deployed to positions across the city. Their return is a concrete sign that the state may be able to regain control of Goma and other territory it lost in a few days of fighting earlier this month.
Even as the army soldiers returned, the M23 rebels remained perilously close to Goma, with their fighters on Monday taking positions just 3 kilometers (1.6 miles) away from this provincial capital.