DRC blames M23 Rwanda-backed forces for a new massacre

DRC blames M23 Rwanda-backed forces for a new massacre

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) blames the latest rise of the M23 militia on Rwanda. Rwanda denies these accusations. However, local people and organizations have filmed military supplies being sent to the M23 from Rwanda. 

Recently, the government of Kenya sent 900 troops to help the East African Community (EAC) bloc of nations that pledged to support the DRC.

Major General Sylvain Ekenge (DRC military spokesperson) said, “The nation is in danger and it needs its worthy sons and daughters to serve it under the flag, to defend the integrity of the territory.”

Voice of America says, “At a press conference Thursday in Kinshasa, Ekenge said Rwandan defense forces and their M23 accomplices are killing innocent civilians in the territory of Rutshuru, including the recent killings of 50 Congolese citizens. Ekenge said DRC armed forces are obliged to respond to all attacks and will do everything possible to protect the Congolese people.”

President Felix Tshisekedi of the DRC and Rwandan President Paul Kagame agreed to an immediate ceasefire during a summit in Angola (November 23). However, the M23 was not part of the negotiations. 

UN News reports, “The Secretary-General urges the M23 and other armed groups to immediately cease hostilities and to disarm unconditionally. He calls for the respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

AFP reports, “M23, a mostly Congolese Tutsi group, resumed fighting in late 2021 after lying dormant for years, accusing the government of having failed to honor an agreement over the demobilization of its fighters.”

The BBC says, “Burundian soldiers are currently based at Luberezi near Bukavu in South Kivu. The Kenyan contingent will be stationed near Goma in North Kivu and will command the East African Community Regional Force.”

The latest massacre of civilians and skirmishes between the armed forces of the DRC and the M23 militia – looks set to further the conflict despite peace talks. 

The provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu are the worst-hit areas concerning terrorism, ethnic massacres, external intrigues, and various insurgencies.

The armed forces of the DRC and the EAC regional bloc face an uphill struggle to defeat the various insurgencies, terrorist groups, and cross-border forces that blight eastern areas of this country. 

Despite this, the EAC seeks a regional solution rather than leaving it to nations from distant lands.

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