Rebels of the M23 movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo have declared a unilateral ceasefire as they prepare for more peace talks with the government in Kinshasa.
Representatives of the rebels declared at a news conference in Kampala, Uganda on Tuesday that they were giving the second round of peace talks a chance to succeed and urged the government of Joseph Kabila to act in similar fashion and disengage from hostilities.
Francois Rucogoza claimed that the movement stood for peace and that “today we’re declaring that we’re in a ceasefire”.
According to Rucogoza, the M23 would encourage negotiations even if the government in refuses to be a signatory to a ceasefire agreement which they hope would lead to a definitive resolution of the crisis.
M23 had overran large swathes of eastern DRC last year, capturing the strategic city of Goma before withdrawing a few weeks later as part of a ceasefire agreement to end the conflict which began nine months ago.
The rebel group had briefly threatened to march on Kinshasa to overthrow the government of President Kabila who they accused of failing in his promise to integrate rebels into the regular army.
The UN had accused Rwanda of backing the rebels, although Kigali has denied the charge.
Over 800,000 people were believed to have been displaced by the fighting.
Source African Press Agency
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