22 November 2012

Central Africa: Rwanda, Uganda, DRC Demand M23 Withdraw

Hundreds of government soldiers and police in the Democratic Republic of Congo have surrendered to rebels at a stadium in Goma. ( Resource: DR Congo Troops Surrender to Rebels )

Rwanda and Uganda have demanded the immediate withdrawal of the M23 rebels from the City of Goma in Eastern DRC.

Goma fell to the hands of the rebels, Tuesday, with minimal resistance from the DRC forces.

President Paul Kagame, his DRC counterpart Joseph Kabila and the Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is also the current ICGLR Chairperson have since Tuesday been holding talks aimed at addressing the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Eastern DRC after the capture of the North Kivu Provincial capital Goma, by the M23.

"In solidarity with the Congolese people and their counterparts, President Yoweri Museveni and President Kagame made it clear that even if there were legitimate grievances by the mutinying group known as the M23, they cannot accept expansion of this war or entertain the idea of overthrowing the legitimate government of the DRC or undermining its authority," the Presidents said in a joint brief statement.

The DRC Government on its part made a commitment to look expeditiously into the causes of discontent and address them as best as it can.

Kabila's government has repeatedly rejected any direct talks with the M23 rebels, but this stance appears to change after the rebels took over the city and threatened to extend the rebellion to other parts of the country.

"Furthermore, a comprehensive and operational plan geared towards lasting peace and stability will be drawn up as a matter of urgency," the statement adds.

The three Heads of State welcomed the support of the Secretary General of the United Nations who dispatched a special envoy to Kampala to meet with them and discuss the matter...

The ICGLR, a grouping of 11 regional countries, has been spearheading efforts to restore peace in Eastern DRC.

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