Saturday, 2 June 2012

Rwanda : Congolese rebels say ‘not about to give up’

Rwanda Congolese rebels
Rebels fighting in the eastern Congo have said that they are not going to give up on the war in the Eastern Congo until all their conditions are met.
Among the conditions, the rebels have demanded for political recognition and recognition of their ranks in the Congolese army, and government going up on the existing renegade Rwandan rebels fighting for the liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)- which includes people who carried out genocide in 1994.
Major John Nzenze, the M23 rebel spokesman- that is currently fighting in the Eastern Congo alongside the FDLR has said that the rebels are ready to fight till the last man drops dead.
Nzenze said “This is a cause that we are willing to die for and won’t put down our arms until it is achieved”
The March 23 Movement (M23) is formed of army mutineers who were part of the former rebel National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), a Congolese Tutsi force that Rwanda denied supporting when it was waging its insurgency.
M23 rebels have also trashed allegations of fighting alongside Congolese warlord, Gen. Bosco Ntaganda- defected from the Congo army and using children in the rebel activities.
The eastern region has been rocked by fresh fighting, and the Democratic Republic of Congo is ruling out a peaceful solution to a stand-off with rebels in the east. The government has refused to negotiate with the group known as M23, who have deserted from the army.
The United Nations has reported that over 50 civilians have been killed during the insurgencies, however activists claims that the feud between Rwandan rebels and the Mai Mai militia in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo last week left more than 100 people dead. While UNICEF reported that at least 20 children were also killed in the same period.
A confidential UN reported Rwandan citizens have been recruited and trained to fight in support of army mutineers in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
The United Nations has conducted interviews with 11 combatants who abandoned their positions in the mountainous forests on the border between the DRC and Rwanda. The report describes these deserters as Rwandan citizens recruited in Rwanda on the pretext of joining the national army, including a minor

Colonel Etienne Mbarushimana, Alias Bantu of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) also defected returning to Rwanda, this May 23, 2012.
In early May another senior ex-CNDP officer, Colonel Sultani Makenga, also defected and announced the formation of a new group called the “23 March Movement” (M23) after the date of the 2009 peace deal.
Makenga claims the mutiny is not about his comrade Ntaganda but about failed promises and the poor treatment of former CNDP rebels integrated into the national army.
Congolese officials had previously claimed that Ntaganda’s freedom was the price of peace in eastern Congo. But Ntaganda’s defection and the new fighting have earned him Kinshasa’s ire and his arrest is now actively sought, for the first time.


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