The M23 rebel group has protested against an initiative by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), to relocate its combatants cantoned in Uganda and Rwanda, to a ‘third country’.
In a communique signed by the Chairman of the M23 Movement Bertrand Bisimwa, he says the AUPSC initiative compromises the DRC peace and electoral processes.
‘The M23 Movement’s Directorate is extremely concerned about the content of the official Communiqué of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council of August 23rd, 2017 in regards to our country (DRC) elections and the M23 Movement’s ex-combatants cantoned in Rwanda and Uganda,’ a September 4 communique by Bisimwa reads in part.
It adds: ‘The initiative of the Peace and Security Council to relocate ex-combatants of our Movement the M23 to a third country dangerously compromises the peace process derived from the Declarations signed in Nairobi on December 12th, 2013 by the Congolese Government and the M23 Movement’.
Further, the communiqué reads: ‘With regard to the position of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on electoral issue in DRC, our Movement, the M23, expresses its disappointment and disagreement with the African Union …’
The Movement also says the AU has failed to guarantee the declarations derived from the Nairobi talks between the M23 and the DRC government.
‘It is an admission of failure by the African Union that it could no longer guarantee the implementation of the Nairobi declarations for which it committed itself on December 12th, 2013; it is in contradiction with all the provisions of the Nairobi declarations and more specifically to the points 2 and 6 of the Congolese Government’s declaration on transitional security arrangements and repatriation,’ the communique states, adding that the decision of the AUPSC would ‘intensify the frustrations of ex-combatants and refugees alike who are seeing the hopes of their repatriation gone with the wind’.
In conclusion, the M23 rebels called for meeting of all stakeholders and guarantors of the December 2013 peace talks, among them the AU, ICGRL, SADC, European Union and the USA in a bid to resolve their outstanding concerns.