more about http://contenthog.com/pr/wp-content/plugins/source-affix/source-affix.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>The SADC/ICGLR Summit co-chaired by President Yoweri Museveni and Dr. Joyce Banda of Malawi in Pretoria, South Africa, said the hand-over of rebels was within the spirit of the framework for Peace, Security and Cooperation for DRC and the region.
The M23 rebel group on Tuesday announced that it had decided “from this day to put an end to this rebellion” and to only use “purely political means” the search for solutions to the root causes that led to its creation.
M23 President, Bertrand Bisiimwa said the Chief of General Staff and the commanders of all major units of the Movement are “requested to prepare their troops for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration whose terms are to be agreed with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
The resolution to hand over insurgents was contained in a statement released Tuesday after an emergency joint SADC/ICGLR Summit attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta and nine other Heads of State and Government.
The resolution of the Summit implies that Uganda and Rwanda will have to hand over all suspected M23 rebels to DRC.
In turn, DRC is also expected to ensure militia groups that threaten Rwanda and Uganda security are immediately forced to return home for prosecution.
In this case, Uganda and Rwanda are optimistic that DRC forces and their allies will clear the deadly Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and FDLR from the restive Eastern Congo.
Political pundits are likely to argue that should this happen, Uganda and Rwanda will have found better ways of dealing with the insurgents that have kept both nations’ security on the edge without necessarily crossing into DRC.
However, it remains unclear if DRC and its allies will hit FDLR considering that the militia was used in lethal combat against the M23 rebels.
The Tanzanians concentrated on shelling M23 bases with heavy artillery while South Africans commanded the air force strikes.
Rwanda Foreign Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo described the Summit as “very productive,” saying it ordered MONUSCO to “tackle FDLR as a matter of urgency.”
The SADC/ICGLR Summit was hosted by South Africa to analyze among other things, the implementation of the Framework Agreement for peace, stability and cooperation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In the Communique, read by SADC Executive Secretary Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, the Summit urged signatories to the Peace, Security and Cooperation framework for DRC and the region to implement commitments made towards actualization of the agreement.
“The Joint Summit received and adopted the report of the joint SADC/ICGLR ministerial meeting on the implementation of the Framework for Peace, security and Cooperation for DRC and the region including the status of deployment of the intervention Brigade and the recent conflict between (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) FARDC and M23,” it read in part.