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M23 rebels abandon rebellion against DRC government

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October 05, 2013 (KAMPALA)- The most powerful of the numerous militia in the volatile eastern Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) , the M23 ,on Tuesday announced it had abandoned its nearly two year old rebellion against the DRC government.

‘‘The M23 Directorate announces… that it decided from this day to put an end to its rebellion and to pursue by purely political means, to find the solutions to the root causes which led to its creation,’’ said M23 President, Bertrand Bisimwa, in a statement issued on Tuesday from the Ugandan capital Kampala.

Bisimwa said M23 commanders asked commanders to prepare their fighters for disarmament and demobilisation.

“The chief of general staff and the commanders of all major units are requested to prepare troops for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration on terms to be agreed with the government of Congo.”

The DRC army with the backing of a United Nations brigade comprising of soldiers from South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi routed the rebels and took over a string of towns previously under control of the M23 including their bastion of Bunagana, near the border with Uganda.

The announcement by the rebels came only a day after leaders from the Great Lakes at a summit with their Southern African counterparts in Pretoria, South Africa, called on them to sign a peace agreement with the DRC government at the Kampala peace talks.

The collapse of the peace talks in Kampala two weeks ago sparked off fresh fighting between the M23 and the DRC army. The two sides could not agree on amnesty and integration of the rebels into the national army.

The news that the M23 has abandoned rebellion has been welcomed by Russ Feingold, the US Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region.

“In a region that has suffered so much, this is obviously a significant positive step in the right direction,” said Russ Feingold in an address on Tuesday to the press in Pretoria, South Africa.

The M23 is largely made up of Tutsi rebels who were previously part of the Congolese army, but mutinied in April 2012 when they accused the DRC government of not respecting a 2009 peace deal.

Rwanda, and to an extent Uganda, have been accused by the United Nations and human rights organisation of supporting the rebels, an allegation denied by both countries.

The announcement of the end of rebellion by M23 has raised hope for peace in eastern DRC. But the region still has a multitude of militia groups with the potential to cause more mayhem in the long suffering but mineral rich eastern Congo.

(ST)

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  • 6 November 2013 08:50, by sudani ana

    Congratulations DRC and well done the DRC army, you have proved that these destructive and murderous rebellions, the biggest disease in Africa, can be beat and defeated militarily. Now you can start rebuilding your country. Hopefully Sudan will take a leaf out of your book and rid our country of our rebels for good. Their place is reserved in the rubbish bins of history.

    repondre message

    • 6 November 2013 14:29, by zulu

      When Beshir took thousands of troops and foreign fighters to destroy SPLA in EE, these troops were routed in Nimule and the remnants took off to Juba on foot. To this day, there are some battle tanks in ditch.
      Since when have SAF defeate the mighty SPLA. Even divisions 9 and 10 are giving SAF hard time thouhg Iran and Syria help Sudan. The real criminals are the Beshirs, Taha and Nefie. Look,

      repondre message

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