World
DR Congo rebels demand ceasefire before new talks
Publish Date: May 03, 2013
DR Congo rebels demand ceasefire before new talks
M23 political leader Bertrand Bisimwa. Photo by AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision


 The M23 rebel movement active in the troubled east of the Democratic Republic of Congo said Thursday it would only resume peace talks if the government signs up to a ceasefire.


M23 political leader Bertrand Bisimwa told AFP that DR Congo government forces and the Hutu rebel group the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) were advancing on two fronts "and we don't know what their intentions are."

"Our delegation will return to Kampala if -- and only if -- the government agrees to sign a ceasefire with us immediately, " he said.

Military spokesman Olivier Hamuli rejected any links with the FDLR, and refuted claims that the army had moved on the ground. "It's false, it's propaganda. We could never join forces with an armed group, and even less so with FDLR, and we're not preparing an offensive against them (M23)," he told AFP.

The M23, which has been fighting the army in the volatile east since May last year, triggered a new crisis in November when it occupied the key town of Goma for more than a week before withdrawing under regional mediation.

The group's ultimatum Thursday came shortly after a visit by the new UN special envoy for Africa's Great Lakes region, former Irish president Mary Robinson.

Robinson, who is on a regional tour leading political efforts to bring an end to more than two decades of conflict in the mineral-rich region, on Tuesday voiced "shock" over the scale of human rights abuses there.

The United Nations brokered a February peace accord signed by 11 African states and the following month the Security Council approved the creation of a new brigade to help the UN mission in DR Congo.

Under the accord, the 11 states vowed not to interfere in the affairs of their neighbours, and DR Congo President Joseph Kabila promised democratic advances and improved security.

The M23, which Kinshasa and a panel of UN experts say was created as a Rwandan proxy, is accused of a number of rights abuses and has been slapped with UN sanctions.

Both Rwanda and Uganda have been accused of backing rebel groups in the region. AFP

     

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
NZ
A New Zealand weightlifter leaves the Pacific Games in PNG after offending locals with social media posts suggesting they were cannibals....
Genocide, the gravest and hardest crime to prove
Genocide is the gravest crime in international humanitarian law, yet it is also the most difficult to prove....
More than 1,800 dried chameleons on their way to Asia have been seized in Burkina Faso, officials say....
Australia moves towards referendum on Aboriginal recognition
Australia moved closer to recognising Aboriginal people in its constitution Monday after talks with indigenous leaders....
Shock as Greece finance minister resigns
Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis says he is resigning, in a shock announcement despite the government having secured a resounding victory....
Pope Francis to focus on poor in S. America trip
Pope Francis makes his first South American trip in two years Sunday, for an eight-day tour of Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay....
Do you think Ugandan graduates are the worst in the region?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter