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100 million dollars required for M23 amnesty - Minister
Publish Date: May 16, 2014
100 million dollars required for M23 amnesty - Minister
Head of the M23 rebel military forces, Brigadier-General Sultani Makenga (L). AFP/ PHOTO
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newvision

By Mujuni Raymond

Over 100 million dollars are required to shift the M23 rebels from Bihanga and re-settle them in parts of Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Disclosing the figure at a presser this afternoon, Angolan Foreign Affairs minister Georges Ribelo Chicoti said that the efforts to speed up the resettlement of the Congolese rebels require up to 100 million dollars and the money is meant to come from the countries that pledged under the International Conference of the Great Lakes (ICGLR) and European Union together with the United Nations that were guarantors of the peace deal. 
 
Recently, the M23 rebels signed amnesty application forms and handed them to the Congolese government. 
 
The amnesty arrangement was part of the negotiated clauses at the peace deal that was signed at the Statehouse of Kenya last year.
 
Ribelo addressing journalists at the Foreign Affairs ministry in Kampala said the money will go towards quickening demobilization, the signing of individual amnesty forms and transportation and resettlement of the rebels in the Congolese community. 
 
However, the money has not yet been contributed by DRC, countries under the ICGLR and the international community.  
 
Ribelo also disclosed that he was slated to meet the Congolese government officials next week in Kinshasa to quicken the amnesty process of the M23 rebels. 
 
Angola is the current chair of the ICGLR and is leading the region’s efforts to promote peace. 
 
Foreign Affairs minister for Uganda, Sam Kutesa said the money will have to be contributed as all countries pledged to be bound by the ICGLR. 
 
He also added that the regional focus is on peace and sustainable development so amnesty for M23 rebels is an important step in achieving that.
 
The M23 rebels were defeated last year in November by Congolese government forces. 
 
The rebels then crossed the border into Uganda where they are still being hosted to date at Bihanga Barracks. 
 
The rebels signed a peace agreement with the Congolese government which contained amnesty clauses. 
Efforts have been ongoing to get the rebels amnesty. 
 
Last week, the rebels signed the amnesty forms and are awaiting Congolese government official pardon.
 
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