The M23 rebel group accuses the DRC of “externalizing the conflict” through the use of “mercenaries”

The M23 rebel group accuses the DRC of "externalizing the conflict" through the use of "mercenaries"

The M23 denounces that the UN mission is a “pillar” of the Congolese Army’s offensive

Jan. 26 (EUROPA PRESS) –

The March 23 Movement (M23) rebel group has accused the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of “creating chaos” through the “externalization of the conflict” and has reiterated its complaints about the use of “mercenaries” by Kinshasa in the fighting in the North Kivu province (east).

“The DRC government is creating chaos in our country and in the Great Lakes region by outsourcing the conflict and using mercenaries to fight against the M23 on all front lines together with the government coalition,” the DRC spokesman said. group, Lawrence Kanyuka.

Thus, he has stressed that the Congolese authorities “have violated International Law” with the recruitment of these alleged mercenaries and has accused the United Nations Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) for being a “pillar” of the Army’s military offensive and several allied militias.

“From the beginning, the Congolese government should have been deprived of all support, but MONUSCO has become the pillar of the coalition, which goes against its own code of impartiality, being implicated in the violation of the ceasefire,” he argued.

The group’s spokesman stressed that “MONUSCO uses its drones to carry out reconnaissance tasks on M23 positions on behalf of the Congolese government coalition, which subsequently bombards with Sukhoi-25s, tanks and heavy artillery.”

“M23 condemns the ongoing shelling of densely populated areas by the coalition with the help of MONUSCO. M23 continues to professionally defend itself and protect the civilian population and their belongings and will spare no effort in dealing with the threat, wherever it comes from”, has settled.

The M23 is a rebel group made up mainly of Congolese Tutsis and operating mainly in the North Kivu province. Following a conflict between 2012 and 2013, the RDC and the group signed a peace agreement in December. In these combats, the DRC Army had the support of United Nations troops.

The group launched a new offensive in October 2022, intensified as of November, which has caused a diplomatic crisis between the DRC and Rwanda over their role in the conflict. UN experts pointed out in December to the existence of “substantial evidence” of “direct intervention” by the Rwandan Army in the conflict.

They also highlighted a collusion between the Congolese Army and various armed groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the Mai-Mai, to combat the M23, including the proposal by armed groups to “mobilize 600 combatants”. to reinforce the ranks of the Armed Forces.

Rwanda has accused the DRC of supporting the FDLR — a rebel armed group founded and composed mainly of Hutus responsible for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda — and of using the Mai-Mai militias — Congolese nationalist militias formed to defend their territory. against the numerous rebel groups that have been active since the 1990s– in the context of the conflict. Likewise, he has denounced discrimination and acts of hate against the Tutsi minority in the neighboring country.

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