News / Africa

DRC Seeks M23 Rebels’ Extradition from Neighboring Countries

Congolese government army soldiers ride on their truck as they patrol Kibati village outside the eastern Congolese city of Goma, DRC, July 22, 2013.
Congolese government army soldiers ride on their truck as they patrol Kibati village outside the eastern Congolese city of Goma, DRC, July 22, 2013.
Peter Clottey
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) information minister says Kinshasa is seeking the extradition of M23 rebels who fled to neighboring countries following recent clashes with the national army (FARDC).

Lambert Mende says the request is part of a government effort to end armed insurgencies.

“We need to fight impunity among the few [rebels] who have criminal records,” said Mende. “Secondly, we need to give a chance to others who are not criminals to re-insert themselves socially and professionally. This is for us the only way to avoid the restart of insecurity in the region.”

Mende’s comments came after the FARDC recaptured the country’s eastern town of Bunagana, one of the last remaining strongholds of the M23 rebels.

The conflict, officials say, has displaced thousands of civilians, some of whom have fled into neighboring Uganda. The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) says it expects the number of civilians seeking shelter in Uganda to swell to 10,000 by the end of Wednesday.

Mende said the administration will help returning Congolese citizens rebuild their lives in North Kivu province.  The government is working with its international partners, including the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), to provide assistance to the victims of the conflict.

“Our North Kivu governor [has been] busy since yesterday organizing their way back home,” said Mende. “We are also working with the UNHCR as well as with the neighboring governments to organize [their return]. Their place is at home, and we shall help them rebuild their homes and restart any activities to rebuild their lives.”

Mende said the government wants to establish the rule of law in the restive parts of the country including the North Kivu province where armed groups often attack unarmed civilians and ransack their villages. He also said the administration seeks to bolster security in the areas where the FARDC drove out the M23 rebels.  Mende said residents in the areas formally held by the rebels have confidence in the national army.

“You could witness how many are coming back and how they are welcoming our troops. They are confident [in] their government, of their country and of the army,” said Mende. “I think they know that we really are willing to work to [protect] this area, and they didn’t wait [for] any call and they are coming back in their thousands since yesterday.”
Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, Congo's information minister
Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, Congo's information ministeri
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Comment Sorting
by: Aluta from: Las vegas
November 05, 2013 11:37 AM
We are forgetting the main killer in all these kagome supporters, "tony blair", he's the main benefiary in all atrocities committed in DRC while billy clinton is the planner of the Rwandan genocde. They made big money out of minerals & inslaving innocent rwandans & congolese to do their dirty jobs. They are also supporting the so called hima empire in which tutsis will dominate the whole region by conquering all eastern african countries. They have Uganda, Rwanda, wanted DRC now failing. Through EAC their plans will be achieved without hardships. Tanzania is in a process of pulling out of EAC because it discovered their bad intentions therefore expelling all rwandans from its territory. Clinton & blair are criminals who must be taken to international criminal court for financially & politically supporting wars that killed more than twelve million innocent people.

by: Benjamin Likute Bauma from: South Africa
November 04, 2013 6:44 AM
I completely agree with the previous comments. All of us know that the so-called M23 which is in fact CNDD aoffspring of FPR of Kagame. And if we look a little bit futher the FPR is the creation of the former USA president Bill Clinton. This rebellion (M23) has killed more than 6 millions congolese. What the ICC is waiting to bring Kagame, Museveni and their godfather Bill Clinton to justice the way it did with Charles Taylor?

by: Kanyarwanda from: Wilmington, DE, USA
November 01, 2013 8:54 AM
People Blame Kagame & Museveni and no one says nothing about their Godfathers who arm and financially support them in their non sense. Do really the world realize that over 6 million people have died in Congo since 1997? Or those lives do not have a value as they were just poor African people? If JUSTICE really exists, it should be benefical to every human being in this world no matter what their social status, race and origin might be. In French they say: Qui vivra, vera! (whomever will live, will get to see...).
I will finally add that No Good Deed Go Unpunished... Kagame and Museveni who are not even scared of human rights will get their share soon or later!

by: Aluta from: Las vegas
October 31, 2013 1:21 PM
Thank you Mr Wilson. DRC has the potential to economically uplift the whole region, but peace must prevail for this to happen. We need to stop impunity & with help of the rest of the world we'll progress. Pls Mr Wilson send us some first hand info on what is happening there, I heard that there is another group formed by Rwanda & Uganda called M18 that is going to replace M23, do you know anything about this group?, do you think that this is the end of attrocities in DRC?. Thanks

by: Aluta from: Las vegas
October 31, 2013 8:12 AM
As a Rwandan citizen who always opposed the M23 rebels attacks on a sovereign & a good neighbor DR Congo, I'm delighted to hear that these bandits days are over. Rwanda & Uganda must now answer to all attrocities committed by these genocidaires they supported in killing more than SIX million innocent congolese & plundering mineral resources.
Congo can a great nation without war
In Response

by: Anonymous
October 31, 2013 5:18 PM
You are right, the population in Rwanda, Uganda and DRC just need good leadership. The trouble with Kagame and Museveni is that they only know violence. They shot their way to power leabing millions dead. Museveni stood for elections in 1980 and his party got 1 seat then he claimed rigging and wrecked havoc that left millions in Uganda dead. For Kagame it was even more violent his war caused millions of death. In the Museveni Uganda war was Kagame and may others now in Rwanda and Uganda juntas and others in the M23 group. The notion of warlords imposing their babaric whims must stop and UN/SADC have done great to chase this Kagame/Museveni bandit group out of DRC. I doubt the regimes will hand over their criminal buddies to DRC or ICC.
In Response

by: John Wilson from: Bunagana
October 31, 2013 10:43 AM
Thank you Aluta, for your common sense, there is no reason, congolese, rwandans and ugandans cannot live together in peace. I hope Museveni and Kagame learned something from this M23 defeat and start truly working toward peace and prosperity in the great lakes region with its neighbors

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