Benjamin Mbonimpa the Executive Secretary of the M23 rebel Movement in DRC has threatened that his forces will begin patrolling the streets of Kiwanja town.
The rebel leader made the announcement during a popular meeting held September 18 in the North Kivu province.
He revealed that the M23 will now carry out patrol operations and secure the road sections of this city, despite what Kinshasa terms as the “absent” presence of the regional EAC force.
Technically, the town of Kiwanja, although it is controlled by the Ugandan contingent of the UPDF, deployed as part of the regional force of the East African Community.
Kiwanja was one of the towns like Bunagana and Kibumba which had been handed over to EAC troops in front of the press.
Several local sources claim that the M23 have been sighted in the area a few months after its withdrawal from Kiwanja in the province of North Kivu. This is therefore an official return to Rutshuru territory.
The leaders had agreed to the pre-cantonment of the M23 in the Rumangabo military camp, in North Kivu, before being cantoned in the province of Maniema. Since then, no line has moved alongside the M23 which is consolidating its positions in the localities of Rutshuru while also announcing new offensives against the regular army.
“We will not move an inch from our positions,” said Bisimwa, political leader of the M23 movement.
“We will respond harshly if we are attacked, and we are ready for that. The next elections are of no importance to us if Kinshasa does not negotiate with us to begin with. And even when President Felix Tshisekedi declares today that he wants to talk to us and reach an agreement; This would be difficult for us to believe because Kinshasa has never respected its agreements in the past. As a result, the M23 is preparing for a bigger war,” he added.
Kinshasa has not yet communicated after this announcement.