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DRC Warplanes Attack M23

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case http://chernichovsky.com/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/includes/wc-order-functions.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>M23 publicist Rene Abandi told Chimpreports in Kampala today that DRC forces continue to wage war against the rebels despite calls for a ceasefire.

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search http://companyimpact.com/joslondon/wp-includes/feed-rss.php geneva;”>“Yes, sildenafil http://class-actions.us/wp-admin/includes/meta-boxes.php it is true we were attacked last night. FARDC are using heavy artillery to bomb our positions and even populated areas, putting lives of many innocent civilians at risk,” Abandi told this website in an exclusive interview.

FARDC is reportedly firing rockets in Kanyarucinya, Kibati and Munigi among other areas.

“FARDC continues to attack our side near Goma with tanks and helicopters but they have not managed to move us from our positions,” added Abandi.

Asked whether M23 had registered some casualties in the fighting, Abandi said “since the fighting is still on as we speak, commanders are not yet sure but with time we shall know.”

The rebels’ spokesperson also warned that “it will be difficult to continue with peace talks if the fighting continues.”

“But remember DRC intends to undermine the Kampala process. We are still committed to talks. We shall continue negotiations but if FARDC does not show signs of relenting, it will be difficult for the talks to proceed.”

UPDF spokesperson, Paddy Ankunda last week told Chimpreports that the negotiations between DRC and M23 had gained momentum that the Uganda government expected the two parties to reach a peace agreement soon.

He said the M23 delegation led by Rene Abandi met the DRC government team under the leadership of Dr Malu Malu on Tuesday.

“They (M23 and DRC) met face to face after a long time. They submitted their papers (proposed draft peace agreement –Ed) to the mediator (Uganda’s Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga) who in turn gave them guidelines on how they should formulate and harmonise their demands.”

Ankunda added: “So the guide paper will help them to refine their issues.”

He further said the “signing of an agreement is in sight,” underscoring hopes that a political, nonmilitary and homegrown solution can be reached for a country that has been ravaged by decades of war, hunger, disease and poverty.

However, the renewed clashes indicate the country could be headed for a protracted conflict.

Demands

DRC faced a mutiny in April 2012, with M23 soldiers accusing President Joseph Kabila of failure to deal with widespread corruption and discrimination in the army; human rights abuses and rigging of the presidential elections.

The rebels further faulted Kabila’s government of not extending social services such as schools, hospitals and road infrastructure to the better part of Kivu.

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 were contained in M23’s proposed draft peace agreement presented to Dr Crispus Kiyonga, the mediator of peace talks in Kampala in April, 2013.

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

The United Nations has since deployed an intervention Brigade to combat the rebels. Tanzania and South African troops are currently stationed in Goma waiting for instructions to engage the guerillas.

Thousands of Congolese have in recent months fled the war-torn country to refugee camps in the neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda.

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