M23 Rebels Warn Against Deployment of SADC Troops in North Kivu


 The deployment of Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC) troops in North Kivu province will make the Democratic Republic of Congo government understand that it is a wrong move, Bertrand Bisimwa, the president of the March 23 Movement has warned.

The DR Congo government is in a process of collaborating with SADC troops to replace Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan peacekeeping troops deployed in the area under the East African Community Regional Force.

The East African Community Regional Force’s mandate is set to expire on December 8, 2023. But the DR Congo government doesn’t want it extended on accusations of failing to launch an assault on M23 rebels.

Addressing a media conference on Saturday evening at Bunagana town in Rutshuru territory, Bisimwa argued that the deployment of SDC troops will make the government understand that it is on the wrong path because President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo is intentionally dodging dialogue with M23.

He says that the DR Congo government has repeatedly been telling lies to the public by faulting EACRF troops for failing to fight yet its role is to create a buffer zone to pave the way for dialogue to start.

He also criticized the silence of the international community for the acts of ethnic cleansing by the Kishasha government against Kinyarwanda-speaking citizens in North Kivu province.

He argued that the bombing of towns heavily populated by civilians and malicious destruction of public and private infrastructure are acts of impunity.

The rebel leader warned that if the DR Congo government continues to think that they will resolve the crisis with arms, M23 will beat them militarily adding that if they continue to stubbornly oppose dialogue after a military failure, M23 will move on to self-determination.

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