Congo rebels appeared to be looting the central bank in Goma after refusing to withdraw from the city they captured last week.
M23 fighters surrounded the bank early this afternoon and were seen loading white bags into cars. The armed rebels looked nervous and ordered the Guardian to leave the area.
“They’re looting the bank,” a UN source said. Later another UN source denied that there had been money in the bags, insisting they were full of beans.
In a press conference in the morning on Tuesday the rebel leader Bishop Jean-Marie Runiga said M23 would refuse to obey a call by regional leaders of the International Conference of the Great Lakes to leave the capital of North Kivu province to pave the way for peace talks.
A withdrawal would be the result, not a precondition, of negotiation, Runiga said.