New Vision (Kampala)

Congo-Kinshasa: M23 Rebels Set Terms for Resumption of Talks

Photo: UNHCR
Displaced (file photo).

The M23 rebels have agreed to resume dialogue with the DR Congo government Kampala on January 4, but on condition that Kinshasa signs a ceasefire and stops reinforcing the FADRC defences.

The leader, Jean-Marie Runiga told journalists in Bunagana on Thursday, "If they don't (DRC government) sign a ceasefire at the Kampala talks, our delegation will come back. We are ready to defend ourselves if they attack us."

Runiga said that M23 promises peace in the New Year as long as the Congolese government resist from what he called 'propagating rumors.' He said that resumption of talks on January 4th is significant because it will be a national holiday when Congolese commemorate those who died for their independence.

"We respect those who died for our country; and it's not true that we are working for the balkanization of Congo. We are a revolutionary movement in Congo and we will not waiver in our quest for liberation of Congo," Runiga said.

He said that as the M23 delegation moves to Kampala, the FADRC soldiers are sending reinforcements are to the areas of Goma, Mudja, Rusayo, Kanyaki, Tongo, Rwindi, Ishasha, Nyamirima and Sharu, with support from the Hutu FDLR and Mai mai militia.

"We are observing flights in areas that M23 controlled. This is a provocation. MONUSCO confirms that over 4,000 FDLR have been dropped by Congolese government in some of these places," Runiga said.

Commenting on the recent sanctions by the UN Security Council against him, Runiga said that the Security Council did not have proof and the rebels were not given a chance.

"M23 has been asking for dialogue and ceasefire, but we are being paid by sanctions. We respect the UN, but it is better they go for an investigation because we don't trust NGOs which give them these reports," he said.

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InFocus

Congo Govt and Rebels to Resume Talks

Displaced (file photo).

The M23 rebels group have agreed to continue peace talks with government, but have set conditions for the meeting. Read more »