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DRC Attacks M23 Base As Gun Battle Rages On

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ailment http://ctrdv.fr/pmb3/opac_css/includes/interpreter/notice_tpl.inc.php geneva;”>M23 officials told Chimpreports that so far no casualties have been registered.

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But the fighting is raging on in Muningi, with fears hitting boiling levels that DRC President Joseph Kabila probably hopes that by starting war the UN intervention Brigade, which has since been stationed in Goma, will be forced to join in.


Diana Sempebwa Katabarwa, a member of the M23 publicity committee, confirmed the fighting. She further accused Kabila of joining forces with Rwanda rebel group FDLR, to plunge the nation back into bloodshed.


Katabarwa said the fighting is just 10 kilometers away from Goma.


“FARDC and FDLR attacked M23 positions in Kanyarucinya but we succeeded to push them back up to Muja,” said Katabarwa.


She also said FDLR and FARDC were planning to launch an attack from Tongo in Rutshuru on M23 positions. “M23 is on the alert. FARDC is fleeing from Goma.”


The fighting is a product of the collapse of peace talks between the two antagonistic camps in Kampala.


M23 expressed shock that while they requested Kabila for talks, “instead we are being bombed; M23 boys are outraged.”

M32 fighters


The DRC representatives last month left their hotel rooms in Kampala before flying back to Kinshasha. M23 followed suit, returning to Bunagana.


The M23 had captured Goma last year but pulled out due to international pressure and intervention of leaders in the Great Lakes region.


The DRC army faced a mutiny last year in April, with M23 accusing Kabila of gross human rights abuses, rigging the Presidential election and massive segregation and entrenched corruption in the army.


Demands

To lay down their tools, M23 asked Kabila to release all political prisoners affiliated to the rebel group; declare Kivu a disaster area and formally recognize the ranks of the military and police on the basis of M23 OB (Order of Battle) presented by the movement.


The rebels also want Kabila to organize, “without delay, provincial, urban and municipal elections and local throughout the territory of the Republic, in accordance with section 1 of Law No. 06/006 09 March 2006 on the organization of elections in the DRC.”


The demands are contained in M23’s proposed draft peace agreement presented to Dr Crispus Kiyonga, the mediator of peace talks in Kampala in April.

M23 also want the DRC Government to show commitment to creating a special structure for national reconciliation.

Sultani Makenga being guarded heavily


The rebels have also been pressing Kinshasha to apply the provisions of Article 175 of the Constitution relating to the withholding of 40 percent of revenues from the public treasury, and enact a law establishing the classification of tax revenues and their allocation.


M23 says government must apply the provisions of Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution establishing 25 provinces plus the city of Kinshasa and enact an organic law on the composition, organization and functioning of the decentralized territorial entities and their relations with the State and the Provinces.


The Movement also wants Kabila to revitalize the Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) supporting the implementation of its economic development objective and sub-regional integration.


“Because of recurring wars that led to the destruction of infrastructure, socio-economic fabric, fracture social cohesion and the absence of any prospect of development due to deficiency of a lasting peace and security in recent decades in the east of the Republic, the Government undertakes to declare the eastern part of the DRC (North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, Haut-Ouele, Maniema and Tanganyika) as a “disaster area,” reads a letter of demands by M23.


The rebels say the declared “disaster area” should enjoy a special administrative status; unique special development plan; broad fiscal and financial autonomy and specified operational concept for its security.


The combatants add that DRC must facilitate the integration of policy frameworks of M23 and those considered as such and government should involve leaders of the movement in the management of national institutions through government centers, diplomacy/ Chancelleries, public enterprises, provinces and general Staff.


Regarding national reconciliation, Kinshasha is required to enact amnesty provision for acts of war and insurrection covering the period from May 7 2009 until the end of the implementation of Agreement and in accordance with international law.


“In order to strengthen the democratic debate and to participate in national politics, the M23 is committed to become a political party. However, it reserves the right to change its name,” the proposed draft agreement reads in part.

Should these conditions be fulfilled, M23 says it is committed to conduct joint operations with government to participate in peacekeeping operations and stabilization of the eastern part.

To pacify sustainably eastern part of the Republic and effectively participate in the stabilization of the Great Lakes Region, M23 argues, these operations should be conducted over a period of five years, renewable and will aim to the final eradication of all foreign negative forces (LRA, ADF-NALU, FNL, FDLR) operating from the Congolese territory.

It further stresses the rebels should be repatriated to their countries of origin of all prisoners captured during those operations.

“Therefore, there will be the composition and articulation of joint forces (FARDC-ARC) to carry out such operations and reach, within a reasonable time to the expected results.”

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