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DRC, M23 Quit Peace Talks As War Drums Beat

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pill http://cooperativenet.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-ms-themes-list-table.php geneva;”>The DRC government delegation quit their hotel rooms at Commonwealth Resort, http://cprescue.com/wp-content/plugins/events-manager/buddypress/screens/my-locations.php Munyonyo on Thursday before being flown out of the country.

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The M23’s representatives followed suit on Friday afternoon, returning to Bunagana.


Military sources have told Chimpreports the two camps had met only twice in a period of 3 weeks.


The rebel group accused Kinshasha of a “negative attitude” towards the talks and “having too much faith” in the UN Intervention Brigade.


The Brigade will be composed of troops from Tanzania, Malawi and South Africa.


Some of the South African combatants have already arrived in Goma. It also emerged that at least 30 French military personnel had arrived in Goma to finalize plans of combating M23 fighters.


M23 officials on Monday afternoon told Chimpreports: “Kabila thinks that South Africa and Tanzania mercenaries will defeat M23. He is dreaming because we can’t be beaten by scouts.”


In preparation for an attack, sources say, M23 has intensified a massive recruitment and training of new combatants in guerilla warfare to engage UN Brigade.


Knowledgeable sources say the Brigade should prepare for a storm, considering that majority of M23 fighters have lived and fought several wars in their territory which is alien to the invading force.


The mountainous terrain and wintry weather is also dangerous for war planes, which could work against the UN Brigade should it choose to use the air force against the rebels.


It is also important to note that M23 is very popular in its territory, owing to victories secured against DRC troops in several encounters in 2012.


A source told Chimpreports that the UN force also faces the challenge of language and could face hostility from locals who dread FARDC forces for raping women, killing and maiming innocent civilians.


UN last week said at least 126 women had been raped in the eastern town of Minova in November 2012 by DRC soldiers.


What is also likely to compound The UN Brigade’s troubles in DRC is identification of rebels, considering they do not have a specific uniform.


While some put on the DRC uniform imported from China, others wear civilian clothes.


LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

On Monday morning, rumours spread that M23 military leader Brig Sultani Makenga had been shot in an ambush. However, sources described the story as “war propaganda” by Kinshasha intelligence aimed at demoralizing M23 combatants.


Impeccable military sources told this website that Makenga has already resolved that should his men be attacked, he will advance, strike and seize Goma with the view of marching to Kinshasha to topple President Joseph Kabila.


Speaking last Thursday at his base in Bunagana, Makenga warned: “We shall not surrender nor accept to be denied rights to exist on our ancestral land. We fight for our rights; we have to defend our lives, unless if the world believes that we must accept arbitrary arrests, and extermination of our families from the face of the Congo.”


He added: “We shall not surrender nor accept to be denied rights to exist on our own. The UN is set to unleash war in North and South Kivu and Maniema Provinces.”


M23 says South African forces have taken positions which are less than 15 kilometres away from M23 positions in Munigi on the outskirts of Goma.


The Tanzanian forces have also arrived in Uvira, South Kivu Province and the Tanzanian commander of the troops is in Goma town.


M23’s demands

M23 revolted in 2012, accusing Kabila of rigging the 2011 Presidential elections, human rights abuses, discrimination and corruption in the army and planned massacre of CNDP soldiers who had been integrated in FARDC.


Since the opening of the peace talks in Kampala, The rebels have been calling for the release of political prisoners affiliated to the rebel group, declaring Kivu a disaster area and formally recognizing 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.


M23 want the DRC Government to show commitment to creating a special structure for national reconciliation and should “enjoy financial and administrative autonomy and placed under the authority of the President and supported by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Great Lakes Region.”


The rebels further ask Kabila to apply the provisions of Article 175 of the Constitution relating to the withholding of 40 percent of revenues from the public treasury, and within 45 days to enact a law establishing the classification of tax revenues and their allocation.


The Movement 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.


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 M23 wants government to undertake to declare the eastern part of the DRC (North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, Haut-Ouele, Maniema and Tanganyika) as a “disaster area.”


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.


It further says 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.


AMNESTY

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.”


The group further contends that to “end impunity in the national army the DRC government should set up a joint commission of independent investigation to shed light on selective assassinations in the national army, soldiers in Kamina, in Dungu, in Rutshuru, Shabunda in South Kivu and elsewhere, so that the sponsors of these acts will be brought before the competent courts.”


M23 further pledges to participate in the development of local communities to national parks and given the fact that they all suffered from the consequences of repeated wars, both parties should undertake initiatives to promote the tourism industry and to assign 100 percent of tourism revenue development of these populations.


“This base will be managed jointly by the permanent local conciliation committees and development structure to be agreed by both parties.”


M23 contends that given the principle of the continuity of the State, the Government of the DRC should recognize all the political and administrative acts within entities under administration M23.

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