M23 -Congo peace talks resume


By Godfrey Olukya 9-4-2013

The peace talks between Democratic republic of Congo and M23 rebels
have resumed at Munyonyo resort hotel in the outskirts of Uganda’s
capital Kampala.

The talks started last evening under the guideship of the
coordinator, who is also Uganda’s minister of defence, Crispus Kiyongo.

Before the talks resumed, Kiyonga held a press confrence at which he
said, ‘After consulting DRC and M23 leadership, they agreed to proceed
with the peace talks. Both sides are emphasizing peace. They say they
are ready to abide by the talk’s agenda. I believe they will soon come
up with peaceful solution.’

However, this comes at a time when the president of the Congolese rebel
group M23 had just warned that his forces will fight back against the
new UN Intervention Brigade if it enters the M23 controlled areas.
Speaking to Al Jazeera on Friday last week, Bertrand Bisimwa rejected
what he called “any foreign interference” in the
Democratic Republic of Congo.

‘If UN forces come and attack us they will find us here and if they
are against us, we will fight,’ Bisimwa said, adding that the M23’s
position on non-interference is consistent with its earlier policies
to defend seized territory from any group that threatens peace.

The UN last month approved and authorised to use force to end the
rebellion. The Intervention Brigade is to be made up of 2,000-3,000
troops from South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania, and is mandated to
operate in a robust, highly mobile and versatile manner to ensure that
armed groups cannot threaten the security of civilians.


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