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DRC fighting resumes, M23 say ceasefire deal doesn’t affect them | Conflict News

Combating resumed between troops within the Democratic Republic of the Congo and M23 rebels within the nation’s east on Friday, because the armed group stated a ceasefire deal between African leaders “doesn’t actually concern” them.

Reporting from Kilimanyoka, outdoors Goma in japanese DRC, Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb stated combating is ongoing within the west of M23’s territory, round Chumba, Swagara and Bwiza. Navy sources instructed Webb that M23 is “reinforcing, bringing in additional fighters, extra weapons” forward of the 16:00GMT ceasefire deadline.

The Tutsi-led M23 group is waging its most critical offensive in japanese DRC since 2012, additional destabilising an space the place a number of armed teams have wrangled over land and sources for many years.

The ceasefire deal brokered between African leaders within the Angolan capital Luanda on Wednesday referred to as for the withdrawal of the rebels from “occupied zones” and their “withdrawal to their preliminary positions”.

However Lawrence Kanyuka, the political spokesman for M23, instructed the AFP information company on Thursday that: “M23 has seen the doc on social media … There was no person within the summit [from M23] so it doesn’t actually concern us … Usually when there’s a ceasefire, it’s between the 2 warring sides.”

In line with Wednesday’s deal, if the rebels refuse to cease combating, the east African regional pressure being deployed in Goma “will use pressure” to push them out.

Al Jazeera’s Webb, reporting from close to the entrance line on Thursday, stated, “Kenyan troops have arrived right here in the previous couple of weeks, began clearing floor for his or her first navy area submit which is simply north of the town of Goma … UN peacekeepers are additionally right here.”

He stated in absence of a ceasefire, individuals have been ready to see “if the presence of extra international forces goes to stop additional advances by the armed group”.

1000’s have been displaced in current weeks as DRC’s military has struggled to cease the M23’s advance. Many have sought refuge in and round Goma, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the entrance line, which the rebels briefly seized in 2012 earlier than they have been pushed again the next yr.

Demonstrations in Goma

On Thursday, a whole lot additionally marched in Goma to protest in opposition to the ceasefire settlement, saying it doesn’t sort out Rwanda’s alleged backing of the M23 group.

Demonstrators made their means by the town centre behind banners denouncing the worldwide neighborhood’s “silence and ambiguity” in direction of mass killings organised “through Rwanda”.

“These accords and summits don’t curiosity us. What pursuits us is peace and safety,” civil society activist and protest chief John Banyene instructed the Reuters information company.

The march ended on the French and British consulates, the place Banyene learn out a memorandum asking international powers to sanction Rwanda and Uganda for his or her alleged involvement with the M23.

“These individuals have already organised so many summits on the DRC that haven’t introduced any options,” protester Placide Nzilamba instructed Reuters.

DRC accuses Rwanda of backing the M23, although Rwanda denies this. The United Nations in August stated it had “stable proof” that Rwandan troops had been combating alongside the M23; america and European Union have referred to as on Rwanda to cease backing the group.

The resurgence in combating has triggered a diplomatic rift between DRC and Rwanda. African leaders underneath the auspices of former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta are mediating within the disaster.

Wednesday’s mini-summit in Luanda was attended by the DRC’s President Felix Tshisekedi and Rwandan International Minister Vincent Biruta, however not Rwandan President Paul Kagame. There have been no representatives from M23.

M23’s Kanyuka, talking to AFP on Thursday, stated the rebels had declared a “unilateral ceasefire” in April and believed it was nonetheless in pressure. “If tomorrow at 6:00pm (16:00GMT), or within the morning, the federal government doesn’t assault us, we are going to nonetheless be there,” he stated, including: in any other case, “we’re defending ourselves”.

“We’re all the time prepared for a direct dialogue with the Congolese authorities to resolve the basis causes of conflicts,” Kanyuka instructed AFP.

The federal government in Kinshasa has refused to have interaction with the M23 group, which it calls a “terrorist motion”, so long as it occupies territory in DRC.

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