DRC: M23 announces withdrawal from villages under its control and calls for “a peaceful resolution of the crisis’’

The March 23 Movement (M23) rebellion announced on Sunday its withdrawal from villages that came under its control at the end of the week in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. It said it wanted “a peaceful resolution of the crisis”.
The M23 has taken the “decision to withdraw, once again, from its newly conquered positions (…) to allow its concerns to be addressed through a frank and fruitful dialogue with the Congolese government,” it said in a statement Sunday.
The M23 “has never had the intention of conquering spaces to administer them, our only motivation is the peaceful resolution of the crisis” that opposes it to the government in Kinshasa, it adds. However, it had not been established by midday Sunday that the withdrawal of the ten or so villages concerned had been completed.
The rebel movement also expressed “its intention to hand over to the International Committee of the Red Cross all [soldiers] of the national army captured on the front line for appropriate care.
After a few days of calm, fighting resumed on Wednesday between the Congolese army and M23 rebels who have taken control of a dozen villages in the Rutshuru territory of North Kivu province, according to local sources.
Also known as the Congolese Revolutionary Army, the M23 is a former Congolese Tutsi rebellion. It was defeated in 2013 by the army but re-emerged late last year, blaming the Kinshasa authorities for failing to meet commitments to demobilize its fighters.
On March 28 and 29, the M23 emerged from its strongholds in the Rutshuru territory to attack army positions.

About Geraldine Boechat 2134 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia