UN Security Council tell M23 rebels to withdraw, disarm

In this file photo taken on November 15, 2022 An escort of Kenyan and Congolese military personnel stands guard at the airport in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta lands. PHOTO/AFP

What you need to know:

  • The eastern DR Congo has witnessed fierce fighting in recent months between Congolese troops and the M23 rebel group.

Members of the United National Security Council (UNSC) have told armed groups, including M23 rebels, in eastern DR Congo to withdraw from captured territory and disarm.

In a November 22 statement, the UNSC said foreign armed groups should disarm and return to their countries of origin.

“The members of the Security Council called on all armed groups to immediately cease all forms of violence and urged all Congolese armed groups to participate unconditionally in the disarmament, demobilisation, community recovery and stabilisation programme, and foreign armed groups to immediately disarm and return to their countries of origin,” the UNSC members’ statement reads in part.

Since the renewal of fighting in Eastern DR Congo by M23 rebels, activities at three key borders of Uganda and DR Congo have ceased. The Congolese government accuses Rwanda of backing M23 rebels, an allegation Kigali denies.

M23 rebels have continued to advance towards Goma City at the same time cutting it from supplies from Uganda. This has negative impact on Uganda’s export as Uganda tries to recover from economic challenges caused by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Last week, the former President of Kenya, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, said he had talked to Rwanda President Paul Kagame and they agreed that he urges M23 rebels to withdraw from captured territory.

Regional leaders yesterday met in Luanda, Angola, to find solutions to the fighting in eastern DR Congo as M23 rebels continue to advance.

Mr Kenyatta, who chaired a peace and security summit in eastern DR Congo, was joined by Angola President Joao Lourenco,  DR Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi, the chairman of the East African Community, who is also the president of Burundi, Mr Evariste Ndayishimiye,  and Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs minister Vincent Biruta.


Kenya deployed forces under the East African Community in Goma City, eastern DR Congo.  The Ugandan government said it will deploy troops in eastern DR Congo soon.

Kenya President William Ruto, who visited his DR Congo counterpart Tshisekedi in Kinshasa, DR Congo, on Monday, said his administration “will do everything possible to ensure there is stability in DR Congo.”

“The two leaders agreed to form a joint committee to define the areas of cooperation with a focus on security, trade and investment,” Kenya State House stated.


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