DRC: Former M23 Member Says He's Forming Armed Group to 'Fight Terrorists'
A former militant of the M23 movement, which is active in the east of the DRC and considered a terrorist group by the Congolese government, claims to have set up a group to fight against the rebels. Since late October, supported by Kenya, Uganda, and Burundi, the DRC's armed forces have been trying to repel M23 attacks.
Embroiled in a military conflict with March 23 Movement (M23) rebels, the DRC is seeing the emergence of a new armed movement positioning itself as a self-defense group with the objective of "fiercely fighting the terrorists of M23."
The group's spokesperson and initiator is Sendugu Museveni, a former influential member of the M23 political bureau. In 2018, he announced that he was as a candidate for the national parliament.
The new movement is called the Coalition of Congolese Patriotic Resistance/Force de Frappe (PARECO/FF). As stated in a press release posted on social networks, the group, founded on November 23, is "taking to the field" and calling on other self-defense groups to join.
The movement also aims to “accompany the Congolese government in its fight to eradicate terrorist groups such as the M23, the ADF-MTN and the final restoration of peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
In recent days, a fragile ceasefire has taken hold on the front line in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since November 25, a ceasefire between the Congolese armed forces and the M23 rebels has been in effect. The decision was made on November 23 at a mini-summit in Luanda. In the meantime, an M23 representative said that the movement was "not really concerned," because it was not present at the talks.
At the end of October, M23 launched yet another offensive after taking up arms again late last year. According to Radio France Internationale, the rebels currently control several customs posts on the border with Uganda.
In addition, the DRC has rejected Rwanda's assistance, accusing it of actively supporting the M23 rebellion in North Kivu. Kigali disputes these accusations.
20 November 2022, 17:36 GMT