M23 is on the rocks!
With the crushing assault by UN-backed Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) army, the notorious M23 rebels finally declared to lay down their arms.
Reports say the M23 rebels the last members of the insurgency group have decided to abandon their positions.
M23 leader reportedly called for a ceasefire to allow a resumption of peace talks when they are under fire and defenseless with the assault.
The announcement marks the end of the 18-month insurgency campaign of the group that has stirred fear in the eastern part of the region.
Victory for DRC!
Last week of the month of October, the Congolese army and with UN intervention brigade launched a massive offensive against the rebels and gained strongholds. Remnants of the rebels were forced to flee and pushed onto edge.
The rebels reportedly called for a truce but the army pressed on with its assault. The pursuance of die-hard rebels by the army and UN peacekeepers still continues.
UN intervention brigade participates in the assault
The 3 000-strong UN intervention brigade in eastern DRC also made a strong impact on the demise of the M23 rebels. The brigade contributes a special mission to help DRC’s army end the rebellions in the region.
US welcomes the announcement
In a press statement, Deputy Department Spokesperson Marie Harf
says the United States welcomes the announcement that M23 will end its rebellion in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The US government also welcomes the DRC government’s positive response to the M23 statement, and its willingness to return to Kampala to sign a final agreement.
“We commend Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Defense Minister Crispus Kiyonga for their facilitation of the Kampala Dialogue.” – Ms. Harf
the need for dialogue
Ms. Harf encourages the parties to follow through on a political process that leads to a final agreement that provides for disarming and demobilizing M23 and ensures accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
She reiterates that reaching a negotiated end to the rebellion is a critical first step to ending the instability in the DRC.
“The United States will continue to support these and other regional and international efforts to reach a sustainable and durable peace.” – Ms. Harf
US on a mission to bring sustainable peace to DRC
Recognizing that the security and humanitarian situation in the D.R.C. is the most volatile and violent in Africa, the United States of America has reiterated its commitment to helping the D.R.C. and its neighbors end the cycle of violence and instability.
An estimated five million people have lost their lives since 1998, and millions more have been uprooted and displaced due to cycle of violence in DRC.
North and South Kivu provinces in particular have faced repeated cycles of conflict, atrocities, and displacement, with the current crisis simply being the latest iteration.
The highest levels of the U.S. Government are committed to helping the D.R.C. and the region achieve a sustainable peace.
In the UN Security Council, US has taken action to ensure that five of the most senior and most abusive M23 commanders are now under targeted sanctions, and it has placed those same individuals under U.S. sanctions, he added.
Talks between the D.R.C. Government and the M23 began on December 9 in Kampala, and are being mediated by Uganda as the chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, known as the ICGLR.
The US government continues to urge the Ugandan Government to ensure that supplies to the M23 do not originate in or transit through Ugandan territory.
As required by the FY 2012 Appropriations Act, Secretary Clinton suspended Foreign Military Financing, or FMF, to Rwanda in FY 2012 because of its support to the M23.
The Department continues to closely monitor reports of external support, and will continue to respond appropriately, including by reviewing our assistance, to deter this support if it should develops.
The US renewed call upon everyone involved in the conflict to maintain the current cease-fire, to permit humanitarian access, and to pursue a sustainable political resolution through honest and meaningful dialogue.
US has underlined that to reach a sustainable peace, the D.R.C. Government must accelerate its efforts towards comprehensive security sector reform.
The US will continue to work with the D.R.C. Government to professionalize its military, including continuing our training to army officers and support to the armed forces’ military justice capacities.
The US urges the international community, the Great Lakes region, and the Congolese people to demonstrate the resolve to achieve the peace and prosperity that we know lays ahead for the D.R.C.