M23 Rebels Kill Over 120 People In Eastern DR Congo Despite Reached Truce - Lawmaker

M23 Rebels Kill Over 120 People in Eastern DR Congo Despite Reached Truce - Lawmaker

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 02nd December, 2022) Rebels of the March 23 movement (M23) have killed more than 120 people in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) in the last two days despite a truce reached between Rwanda and DR Congo, Elie Nzaghani, a parliament member from the Congolese district of Rutshuru, said on Thursday.

On November 24, Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi and Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta met in the Angolan capital city of Luanda to negotiate a truce between the countries. Angolan Foreign Minister Tete Antonio said after the meeting that the sides agreed to an "immediate ceasefire" starting at 6:00 p.m. (17:00 GMT) on November 25. Antonio added that both parties have agreed to demand "the immediate withdrawal of the M23 rebels from the occupied areas."

Following the meeting, M23 said they were not present at the meeting and had nothing to do with the reached agreement.

"The death toll in (the eastern town of) Kishishe has risen. There are now at least 122 dead civilians brutally murdered by M23 fighters.

Some have been killed in churches... We urge the government to do everything to destroy these terrorists because they forcefully recruited our young men, illegally erected fences, and levied taxes," Nzaghani told the Actualite local news portal.

The massacre of civilians took place on Tuesday and Wednesday near the town of Kishishe, the Rutshuru district, the North Kivu province of the eastern DR Congo, the media reported.

According to a joint communique reached in Luanda, M23 was to liberate all the territories it occupied after November 25. On contrary, the rebels have stepped up their attacks on army positions to take control of larger areas and force DR Congo to start a direct dialogue with them, the report said.

The M23 movement, which is fighting for the interests of the Tutsi ethnic minority, suffered a heavy military defeat in November 2013 and was disbanded. In November 2021, the rebels took up arms again, accusing the authorities of DR Congo of violating agreements that provided for the integration of disarmed M23 rebels into the army.