M23 says DRC-Rwanda ceasefire not binding

The ceasefire announced Wednesday in Luanda after a summit between Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame “does not commit the M23,” the rebel movement’s spokesman said Thursday.
“We are Congolese, not Rwandans. If there is a ceasefire, it can only be between us and the Congolese government,” said Willy Ngoma, spokesman for the M23, a movement whose resurgence in eastern DRC has led to current tensions between the DRC and Rwanda.
According to sources interviewed from Goma, the capital of North Kivu, new clashes on Thursday morning pitted the DRC armed forces (FARDC) against M23 rebels, who seized a town in Rutshuru territory, Kanyabusoro.
A FARDC commander accused the rebels of attacking soldiers there in violation of a ceasefire announced the day before, which the M23 denied, accusing the army of attacking it.
The M23, for “March 23 Movement”, is a former Tutsi-dominated rebellion that was defeated in 2013 and took up arms again late last year, blaming Kinshasa for not respecting agreements on the demobilization and reintegration of its fighters. Kinshasa accuses Kigali of supporting this rebellion, which Rwanda disputes.
A mediation meeting between the presidents of Rwanda and the DRC was held on Wednesday in Luanda under the auspices of Angolan President Joao Lourenço.