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DRC team to travel to Uganda over M23 amnesty

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th April 2014 10:43 AM

A delegation from DR Congo is expected in Uganda on Friday to oversee arrangements to enable former M23 fighters sign forms denouncing rebellion as a precondition to receiving amnesty.

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A delegation from DR Congo is expected in Uganda on Friday to oversee arrangements to enable former M23 fighters sign forms denouncing rebellion as a precondition to receiving amnesty.

By Raymond Baguma

A delegation from DR Congo is expected in Uganda on Friday to oversee arrangements to enable former M23 fighters sign forms denouncing rebellion as a precondition to receiving amnesty.

Last week, the DRC government began the process of granting amnesty M23 fighters.

The first recipients of amnesty under the Congolese law are 51 people, including M23 officials that attended the peace negotiations with the DRC government in Kampala last year.

The amnesty is however pegged on M23 fighters signing forms committing themselves not to engage in rebellion again.

This is the first wave of beneficiaries of the amnesty law of February 11, promulgated by President Joseph Kabila.

Jean Pierre Massala, the Chargé D’affaires of the DR Congo Embassy yesterday (Wednesday) said the technical team from Kinshasa would meet the M23 leaders and Dr. Crispus Kiyonga who facilitated the talks last year.

In November last year, M23 denounced war after they were defeated by the Congolese army supported by the UN Intervention Brigade and their military leader Gen. Sultani Makenga sought protection in Ugandan along with 1,600 of his fighters.

Later, the signing of a peace agreement between the DRC government and M23 in Nairobi marked the conclusion of the yearlong peace negotiations in Kampala mediated under the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

Masala said that the amnesty forms are available and ready to be signed at the Embassy in Kampala.

However, he acknowledged that former M23 fighters don’t have enough resources to travel to Kampala.

Benjamin Mbonimpa, the M23 executive secretary said the group had received information from the embassy about the availability of the amnesty forms at the embassy in Kampala.

Mbonimpa however said that most of the Movement’s members were scattered in various refugee settlements in Uganda and Rwanda.

“Our Movement’s Directorate is under discussion with the DRC’s Embassy in Uganda and the Secretary Executive of the ICGLR for the establishment of a strategy that would allow the delivery of the said forms to the different places where our members are gathered,” said Mbonimpa.

Mbonimpa called on the M23 members to exercise patience, saying that they would be informed in due course of practical arrangements adopted by ICGLR, the DRC Embassy and M23.

DRC team to travel to Uganda over M23 amnesty

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