EXCLUSIVE: M23 Refuse To Pull Out Of Goma As Runiga Blasts Kabila In Kampala

website like this geneva;”>On Saturday afternoon, for sale regional leaders of the Great Lakes region urged M23 to withdraw from current positions to the ground of tactical importance not less than 20km from Goma town within two days.

Runiga and Kabila held talks after the Summit but sources say it was “acrimonious” as Runiga told off Kabila that he would get toppled “soon” if he pursued the path of war.

M23 President further said they would give truce “a chance” if Kabila was willing not to “play tricks” and showed determination to address their “legitimate grievances.”

Runiga further told Kabila that they enjoyed massive countrywide support and represented a voice of the Congolese who feel sidelined, depressed and willing to see “real change” in the management of national affairs.

Boiling with anger, Kabila reportedly assured Runiga that attacking Kinshasha will be the “last nail” in the M23 coffin, adding their last chance was to lay down their weapons and leave Goma.

At this juncture, State House sources say, Museveni intervened to cool the flaring tempers.

Museveni reportedly said if M23 does not vacate Goma, he would force them.

While the deadline of the rebel’s pullout from the town is just a few hours from now, security sources say, M23 is in fact strengthening its positions with the view not only to repulse future attacks by government forces but also to expedite operations to topple Kabila.

“The M23 is not budging an inch. They are exploiting the deplorable conditions of the DRC army such as low salaries and lack of enough medical and food supplies to broker defections from FARDC. They are recruiting more fighters and piling up weapons to attack Kinshasha,” said a source.

M23 this weekend humiliated government forces again, by smashing a counter offensive by FARDC in a bid to capture Goma.

FARDC were given a thorough beating and pushed to Minova, over 50km from Goma.

It remains unclear what steps regional Presidents will take if M23 fall short of retreating.

But in a press conference last week, President Yoweri Museveni exhibited confidence that the rebels would not prove stubborn.

“They will have to return to where they (M23) came from. I am telling you they will have to leave Goma,” said Museveni in a joint press conference with Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Kabila.

The rebels are yet to announce plans to vacate the captured towns.


Meanwhile, latest reports indicate that people are starting to get out of their houses but not staying out longer as they continue to monitor the situation.

There is no activity in all schools in Goma and other areas under the rebel control while IDPs in Kanyarukinya have started get back to the camp.

There is serious shortage of basic needs especially water and dead bodies of people killed during the fighting are still lying on the road sides, raising fears of possible outbreak of diseases.

No cases of rape against women in Goma which is under rebels but at least ten women have alleged being raped in Masisi by the retreating government soldiers.

Kagame meets Denis-Sassou-N’guesso

In a related development, President Paul Kagame and his Congo Brazaville counterpart, Denis-Sassou-N’guesso on Saturday commended the decisions taken by the heads of state of the just concluded ICGLR summit in Kampala.

President Sassou-N’guesso was in Rwanda on a two-day working visit at the invitation of President Kagame during which the two heads of state discussed bilateral, regional and international issues, and expressed satisfaction with the strengthened political and cooperation ties between Rwanda and the Republic of Congo.

The heads of state discussed at length the ongoing crisis in Eastern DRC and welcomed the comprehensive resolutions of the ICGLR summit in Kampala.

They called upon the Government of the DRC and the M23 to commit to implementing the Kampala decisions as these represented an important opportunity to resolve the conflict.

They also noted the importance of correctly assessing and understanding the real nature of the various armed groups in the DRC so that appropriate solutions are found for each.

President Sassou-N’guesso noted the value of the discussions and breakthrough held earlier this week between Presidents Kagame, Museveni and Kabila and said it represented an effective framework for building confidence between the DRC and its immediate neighbours.

He also thanked his Rwandan counterpart for the hospitality and meaningful discussions and said this visit to Rwanda was an important opportunity to further strengthen the relationship between Rwanda and Congo.


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