The deployment of Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC) troops in North Kivu province will make the Democratic Republic of Congo government understand that it is a wrong move, Bertrand Bisimwa, the president of the March 23 Movement has warned.      

The DR Congo government is in a process of collaborating with SADC troops to replace Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan peace keeping troops deployed in the area under East African Community Regional Force. 

The East African Community Regional Force’s mandate is set to expire on December 8,2023. But DR Congo government doesn’t want it extended on accusations of failing to launch an assault on M23 rebels.  

Addressing a media conference on Saturday evening at Bunagana town in Rutshuru territory, Bisimwa argued that the deployment of SDC troops will make the government understand that it is on a wrong path because president Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo is intentionally dodging dialogue with M23. 

He says that the DR Congo government has repeatedly been telling lies to the public by faulting EACRF troops for failing to fight yet its role is to create a buffer zone to pave way for dialogue to start.     

He also criticized the silence of the international community for the acts of ethnic cleansing by the Kishasha government against Kinyarwanda speaking citizens in North Kivu province. 

He argued that bombing of towns heavily populated by civilians and malicious destruction of public and private infrastructure are acts of impunity.

The rebel leader warned that if the DR Congo government continues to think that they will resolve the crisis with arms, M23 will beat them militarily adding that if they continue to stubbornly oppose dialogue after a military failure, M23 will move on to self-determination.       

Meanwhile there has been a lull of gun sound on all the fronts in Rutshuru, Nyiragongo and Masisi territories since Friday this week as both belligerents remain in their positions.

In March 2022, M23 rebels led by Bertrand Bisimwa and General Sultan Makenga launched a war against the government.  

The DR Congo government accuses Rwanda of backing M23, but Rwanda and M23 strongly deny it. The rebels claim to fight against bad leadership in DR Congo based on corruption, xenophobia, and discrimination. 


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