UN Harsh Stance On M23 Stokes Tensions In DRC

buy geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region, information pills Mary Robinson, page told reporters in the eastern city of Goma on Friday that such a move would breed another rebellion in future.

“We will not repeat the past mistakes, we believe that there should not be amnesty for those accused of having committed serious crimes, nor should they be integrated in the armed forces of the DRC,” said Robinson.

She was referring to the 2012 mutiny of former CNDP soldiers who chose to return to the bush thus forming the M23 Movement despite being reintegrated in the army in 2009.

“The international community represented here must contemplate a holistic approach of resolving this conflict, the military approach when necessary and the political approach that can yield a lasting and durable impact for the region,” she added.

Observers say Robinson’s views are likely to stoke tensions in the war-torn country, considering that the rebels might not lay down their weapons to be jailed in Kinshasha prisons.


M23 publicist, Amani Kabasha, was not readily available for comment.

However, according to their demands in the proposed peace agreement draft, the M23 want DRC to reintegrate its combatants in FARDC and also maintain their ranks.

With UN insisting that rebels be punished and also denied amnesty, the mutineers could be compelled to withdraw from the peace talks and fight the Kinshasha government which would plunge the eastern region into another round of chaos.

Robinson’s remarks also raise fresh doubts about UN’s impartiality in brokering a peace agreement between the rebels and the DRC government.

In another joint declaration of UN Special envoys, Robinson and her colleagues noted: “We encourage the parties to the Kampala Dialogue to adopt a ‘principled approach’ towards the issues of amnesty and reintegration.”

Robinson’s arguments sharply contrast with the views of regional leaders under the auspices of ICGLR who on Thursday resolved that a political and homegrown solution be adopted to pacify DRC.

While in Goma, the UN envoys were briefed by MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade. They also met with the Governor of North Kivu province, visited the Mugunga camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) on the outskirts of the city, and were briefed on humanitarian issues.

At the conclusion of the visit, they departed Goma for the Rwandan capital of Kigali.

Ms. Robinson was in Goma as part of a four-day tour of the region with the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the DRC, Martin Kobler. Boubacar Diarra, Special Representative of the African Union; Koen Vervaeke, European Union Senior Coordinator for the Great Lakes region; and Russ Feingold, US Special Envoy for the African Great Lakes region and the DRC are also taking part in the tour.

The M23 – composed of soldiers who mutinied from the DRC national army in April – along with other armed groups, has clashed repeatedly with the DRC national forces (FARDC).

In the past year, the fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region which includes 2.6 million IDPs and 6.4 million in need of food and

The rebel movement has since called for a ceasefire to pave way for peace talks.

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