News / Africa

Congo's M23 Declares End to Rebellion

M23 Announces End to DRC Rebellioni
X
November 05, 2013 1:20 PM
A rebel group that has plagued the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for more than a year and a half says it is laying down its arms and is ready to negotiate with the government. The M23 movement announced its intention to end its rebellion and demobilize in a statement Tuesday. The move came hours after government forces pushed rebel fighters from the last two areas under their control.

M23 Announces End to DRC Rebellion

TEXT SIZE - +
Gabe Joselow
M23 rebel group:

  • Formed in early 2012
  • Named for March 23, the date of a 2009 peace deal
  • Also known as the Congolese Revolutionary Army
  • Includes fighters once loyal to a rebel army who assimilated into the DRC army, then defected
  • Dominated by the Tutsi ethnic group
  • Its leader Bertrand Bisimwa said Nov. 5, 2013, that the group is laying down its arms
  • UN experts say the group is backed by Rwanda, which Rwanda denies
The M23 rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo say they are laying down their arms, after military forces drove them from their last remaining strongholds.  The declaration follows a call from African leaders meeting in South Africa for an end to the fighting.

In a statement Tuesday, M23 President Bertrand Bisimwa requested rebel commanders prepare fighters for “disarmament, demobilization and social reintegration.”

Bisimwa said the group would pursue its goals through political means.

​M23 seized parts of Congo's North Kivu province last year. But the Congolese military, backed by United Nations forces, has steadily retaken territory from M23 in recent weeks.

Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende said military operations effectively ended overnight with the capture of the last two rebel positions in Tshanzu and Runyoni near the borders of Uganda and Rwanda.

“Militarily we can say that M23 was disbanded. They are now escaping here and there but they have no control over a single village,” Mende said.

African leaders meeting in South Africa Monday called for the rebels to lay down their arms to make way for a peace accord with the government.

Peace talks between M23 leaders and the Congolese government held in the Ugandan capital Kampala broke down last month.

Mende said he hopes the rebel leaders will engage in the peace process.

“We need them around the table so that we consolidate this new situation by political discussions.  We must end what we started in Kampala,” he said.

The M23 rebellion was launched in April 2012 by disaffected soldiers angry with the government for failing to honor the terms of a previous peace agreement.

Rights groups, the United Nations and some foreign governments have accused Rwanda of supporting the rebellion, a claim Kigali has repeatedly denied.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Paul Gesimba from: Nairobi
November 06, 2013 1:48 AM
The Al Shabaab and other renegade forces must follow suit. For peace to prevail people must talk you cannot shake hands with a clenched fist .


by: Johnson from: Kampala
November 05, 2013 7:31 AM
Why negotiate after losing

In Response

by: Anonymous from: manyok kuch
November 06, 2013 2:15 AM
they can't win whether by diplomacy or force

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid