DRC : M23 announces a ceasefire

DRC : M23 announces a ceasefire

It is in a statement that the rebel group declared a ceasefire on Tuesday. Local actors and the international community had insisted on this ceasefire to allow above all the delivery of aid to people displaced by war, who number more than 500,000 people. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

It is the M23 spokesperson who declared the ceasefire on Tuesday in a press release.

“In accordance with conclusions of consultations between the M23 and President Lourenço held in Luanda, Angola, and decisions taken at various regional summits held in Bujumbura, Nairobi and Addis Ababa, all aimed at finding a political solution to the ongoing conflict in eastern DRC, the M23 declares a ceasefire which comes into effect this Tuesday, March 7 at 12 p.m., Bunagana time”, says a document signed by Lawrence Kanyuka.

He specifies that the ceasefire is part of opening the way to direct dialogue with the Kinshasa government.

The rebel movement says it thanks all regional leaders who have made efforts to “listen, understand its problems” and “restore peace and security in eastern DRC”.

As it has always argued, the main rebel movement recalls that it also reserves the full right to “defend itself when attacked by government coalition forces”.

And it concluded that “the M23 will spare no effort to protect civilian populations and their property”.

Last weekend, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that all actors reassured him about the ceasefire.

“The discussion I had with the president, the discussion I had with President Lourenço and the exchange I was able to have with President Kagame showed me one thing : everyone will give clear support. to the ceasefire next Tuesday which is provided for in the timetable on which representatives of the M23 who went to see President Lourenço have also committed”, declared Mr. Macron in a joint press conference with his Congolese counterpart Félix Tshisekedi.

He deplored the situation prevailing in the east of the vast Central African country.

“This visit comes at a time when a region, a people, a country is experiencing the new act of a tragedy which, for nearly 30 years, has never truly died out. Hundreds of thousands of Congolese relive the nightmare of war, of theft, of absolute poverty, a city-Goma is again under the threat of a rebellion which borrows new acronyms today the M23 but whose face and the external support and the agenda are known”, he said indignantly.

The M23 is a former Tutsi rebellion which took up arms again at the end of 2021 accusing Congolese authorities of not having respected their commitments on the reintegration of its fighters. It controls several localities in the province of North Kivu, including Bunagana, the border city with Uganda since mid-June 2022. Congolese authorities remain convinced that it benefits from the support of Rwanda, allegations swept away by a setback of hand by the Rwandan government.

It in turn accuses Congolese leaders of collaborating with Rwandan FDLR genocidaires by providing them with uniforms, weapons and ammunition with the aim of “destabilizing the Rwandan territory”.

According to the recent report of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA, nearly 530,000 people have had to flee their homes due to insecurity and hostilities in the province of North Kivu in less than a year.

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