News / Africa

M23, Congolese Government Fail to Sign Peace Agreement

FILE - General Sultani Makenga, military leader of the M23 rebels, addresses the media in Bunagana, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, September 8, 2013.
FILE - General Sultani Makenga, military leader of the M23 rebels, addresses the media in Bunagana, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, September 8, 2013.
A peace deal expected to be signed Monday between the Congolese government and the M23 rebel group has been delayed indefinitely.  

The peace deal would have marked the end of 10 months of negotiations between the rebels and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where M23 has been waging a 20 month-long insurgency.

Neighboring Uganda has been mediating talks between the two parties since December.  But although delegations from both M23 and the Congolese government were in Entebbe for the planned signing ceremony Monday, Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo says the Congolese government delegation refused to enter the room.

“The DRC delegation did not enter the conference room, saying they wanted to read the final text which was given to them.  They have taken more than four and a half hours trying to go through the document, so we can not know what their area of disappointment is.  If they are in agreement they will let us know when they are in agreement and when they are ready to sign," said Opondo.

In the meantime, he says, the ceremony has been suspended indefinitely.

Last week, M23 gave up fighting in the eastern DRC, following a military defeat at the hands of the Congolese army and U.N. troops.  The group’s leader, Sultani Makenga, is being held in Uganda along with at least 1,500 of his fighters who crossed the border from the DRC last week.

M23 had earlier asked for amnesty for its leaders, including Makenga, while the Congolese government wants him returned to the DRC to stand trial.  The issue was expected to be a serious stumbling block to a peace agreement, although it is not clear whether it contributed to Monday’s delay.

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Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
November 12, 2013 10:22 PM
There is absolutely no reason to continue to waste time with the Museveni regime jokes in Kampala. The fellows there have never believed in anything non violent. Now they are harboring the bandits they sent to DRC and those of DRC they manipulated for their own aims. It is foolhardy to continue to hope for anything useful from the brutal and selfish autocrats in the Uganda Junta. Total waste of time to listen to the gimmicks from the Kampala Junta. I hope UN/SADC/DRC can figure this out asp and deal with their enemies next door as these regimes will never easily allow DRC peace for as long as they are smell minerals in DRC. SADC/UN should have forces ready to tacke the Uganda Rwanda Menace for a long time to come for as long as the backward Uganda and Rwanda leaders are in place

by: Fortune Mhlongo
November 12, 2013 11:07 AM
The issue of peace in the DRC is a long way off. Many years have elapsed and no Governments have been able to bring peace to this Country. Likewise Western Governments and South Africa have failed too. It is indeed a reflection also on the AU and more importantly on the UN.

by: Jean Kapenda from: USA
November 12, 2013 9:20 AM
A few years ago, I wrote in the Foreign Policy Magazine that once the Mad Dog of the Middle East was gone, it was time to turn our attention to the Mad Basenjis who are still ruling Rwanda, Uganda, and other parts of Africa. We haven't forgotten how these two mad basenjis from Rwanda and Uganda fought like dogs in Kisangani, DRC. Here are the links to refresh the minds:

Again, Rwanda can continue its passive panhandling. It's been good business so far. We hand in money to passive panhandlers if they can pass the test that they're not going to buy alcohol or any other drug. In Rwanda's case, donors care about how that money is going to be spent and Rwanda's mad basenji has been successful at that. He uses that money very well, an incentive for perpetual panhandling and for merciful donors from the West to show compassion even in their hard financial crisis.

Now let's see how Rwanda is going to survive once the supply chain of stolen goods from the Congo has been interrupted. We'll see how its mad basenji will stay on power once the compassionate donors realize that they have been ripped off. Only time will tell.

by: Fred Black from: Kigali
November 12, 2013 5:20 AM
In DRC, power, authority and state sovereignty have been transferred to aid organizations.
“Due to a lack of means, capacity, motivation, vision, corruption and mismanagement, state services have been constantly hollowed out and have increasingly been replaced by new coalitions of local and international development actors.”
so, whether DRC government signs or not problems in congo will take time to be fixed.

by: Benjamin Likute Bauma from: South Africa
November 11, 2013 11:41 PM
The situation In the East of Congo proves that there is no justice on earth. Rwanda and Uganda had fabricated a so-called rebellion which in fact is an invasion of congolese territory by Uganda and Rwanda. These deux countries plundered the congolese soil and killed millions of congolese. All these facts are known by ICC.
Today Uganda is claiming to be the moderator between so-called congolese rebels (in fact they are Rwandese and Ugandians citizens). While everyone knows that uganda is involved in this plundering and killing taking place in Congo.
If there justice in this world Kagame, president of Rwanda, Museveni president of Uganda, should be brought to ICC and trial for genocide, crime against humanity and plundering the richess of Congo.

by: mollypot from: USA
November 11, 2013 9:38 PM
M23 should all be placed under arrest, jailed, and tried for crimes against humanity for what they have done to the Congolese people. I don't understand what the hold up is. Lock them up and throw away the key.

by: Anonymous
November 11, 2013 6:35 PM
The Rwanda/Uganda backed M23 bandits were defeated completely and totally flushed out of DRC & now they are uder the protection of their benefactors from prosecution for all the murders/mass graves and other crimes. It is quite foolish forthe rebels and their backers to expect a peace deal when they should be renouncing their backward murderous ways and greed. It is imperative for the rebels and their Kagame and Museveni warlord to hand over the criminals among them that have been cited as leading the plunder , genocide and all crimes against humanity. Also the Rwanda and Uganda regimes must be fully investigated by ICC for the roles they have played in fanning mayhem in DRC since the early 1990's. Anyone counting on a credible deal under mediation of some clowns/warmongers in Kampala may as well go on bridge buying spree-no matter who they are-and that includes the UN envoy for the region-Ms Robinson.

by: Jon Okeefe from: Bunagana, Congo
November 11, 2013 3:35 PM
No amnesty for Rwandans and Ugandan supported M23 killers, looters, rapists, child soldiers enlisters and human rights abusers. That is not an "Eurocentric" approach as the M23 supporter Museveni puts it, that is common sense, you cannot murder your way out to amnesty! The time for indefinite cycles of impunity for warlords in Congo is over!

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