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M23 Rebels Reserves Right To Self Defence- UN Group Of Experts

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The M23 rebels recently acted in self defence after the Congolese government forces attacked their bases thus further strangling implementation of the Nairobi peace treaty with Kinshasa.

The Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo in a letter addressed to the President of the Security Council of the United Nations on Wednesday said Recent M23 attacks are believed to stem in particular from the lack of progress in implementing the Nairobi Declarations signed on December 12, 2013.

“In March 2022, FARDC repeatedly attacked M23 positions on Mounts Mikeno, Karisimbi, Visoke and Sabinyo, and the Government intentionally refused any peaceful solution and instead choosing war”, the final report of experts indicates.

As a result, the same report points out, the M23 then reserved the right to defend itself and announced that it would continue the fight to bring about meaningful change in the country.

In the report it is indicated that six M23 fighters that were captured noted that the plan of Sultani Makenga, military leader of the M23, was to attack and occupy the towns of Bunangana, Rutshuru and Rumangabo, to cut off the strategic Goma-Rutshuru road, then take Goma in order to force the Congolese Government to accept the demands of the M23 for amnesty, restitution of assets, return to the DRC, integration into the FARDC and allocation of political posts.

Meanwhile, “the already tense regional dynamics, in particular due to the joint FARDC-UPDF Shuja operation, the road infrastructure renovation project undertaken by the DRC and Uganda, and the statement made by Rwandan President Paul Kagame in February 2022 have been exacerbated by the resurgence of the M23,” says the report.