30 August 2013

Congo-Kinshasa: Congo Rebels Declare Ceasefire

Photo: Oxfam International
Drinking water in Mugunga camp, eastern DRC.

Kampala — After a week of intense fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), rebels fighting the government which is supported by a UN peace keeping force, have declared a ceasefire.

The President of the M23 rebels, Bertrand Bisimwa told the Associated Press (AP) on Friday that his troops had started pulling out of areas where fighting has been raging for the last one week to "give peace a chance".

The M23 rebel is made of mostly Congolese Tutsi of Rwandan origin. The rebels were under a 2009 peace agreement made part of the DRC army but broke ranks in April last year.

In the last one week the DRC army with the support of a UN peace keeping force with a mandate to fight the rebels have been engaged in fighting with the M23.

The United Nations and the DRC government accuse Rwanda of supporting the rebels. Rwanda denies the accusations.

The United Nations said on Wednesday that one of its peace keepers from Tanzania had been killed and three others from South Africa wounded in fighting between M23 rebels and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) army backed by a UN.

In March the United Nations Security Council authorised the creation of a special brigade of UN peace keepers with a mandate to use force. The brigade comprises of 17,000 soldiers from South Africa and Tanzania.

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