"M23 has no intention of entering into the city of Goma," Lieutenant-Colonel Vianney Kazarama, the rebels’ spokesman, assured me on November 18.
We were in Kibati, another town in the war-torn Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. I had crossed the border from Rwanda into government-held territory hours earlier, and then moved north to find the rebel encampment.
Three days later Kazarama was addressing a crowd of thousands in Goma's football stadium. "Goma, bonjour, I am your child, I love you very much, that is why we are here," he told the crowd.