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
Netanyahu takes fight against Obama
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu goes to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for another round in an increasingly heated battle with the White House over Iran''s nuclear ambitions....
Thousands of women march for peace in Congo
Thousands of women staged a march for peace in the Republic of Congo's capital Brazzaville Sunday as pressure builds over mooted constitutional changes that would pave the way for the president to extend his hold on power....
Kuwaiti authorities are closely monitoring several relatives of "Jihadi John" who live and work in the Gulf emirate where the Islamic State executioner was born, press reports said on Sunday....
Sick girl, 14, asks to be allowed to die
Chile''s President Michelle Bachelet visits a 14-year-old girl suffering from cystic fibrosis who appealed to be allowed to end her life....
Obama condemns Russian opposition leader
Obama condemned what he called the "brutal" and "vicious" murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov....
Russian opposition leader Nemtsov
The murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was carefully planned, investigators said Saturday, pointing to details of the weapon used and the killers' knowledge of his movements....
Is KCCA doing enough to curb poor hygeine?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter