Special Reports

EXCLUSIVE: M23 Warn Kabila

buy more about http://clothesthatwork.org/wp-content/plugins/the-events-calendar/src/admin-views/create-venue-fields.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The leader of the M23 peace delegation in Kampala, search http://clintonhouse.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.jetpack-modules-list-table.php Rene Abandi said the former movement’s combatants continue to be arrested while suspected rebels are being tortured to death by DRC security services, stuff creating an atmosphere of terror.


“We the M23 Movement, believe that as long as the commitments undertaken by Congolese Government are not honoured and structures not set up to facilitate the implementation of Nairobi peace agreement, there will be no resolution to the problems that are the very foundations of the movement’s creation,” said Abandi.


He further pointed out that the behaviour of the DRC government will entrench the root causes of the “conflicts in the Eastern part of our country whose dangerous consequences will be passed on to our future generations.”


Abandi’s remarks are contained in the leaked ‘Coordination Report of the Implementation of the Nairobi’s Declarations of December 12th 2013 Between the DRC Government and the M23 Movement.’


The DRC Government spokesperson Lambert Mend recently said their declaration was nothing but a mere document.

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“You all heard the news. The M23 said that it has ended its rebellion. So, there is no need to go and change this fact by recreating an M23 to sign an agreement with them,” said Mende last year.


During the Kampala peace talks, Mende was quoted by the international media as saying the Congolese government “never intended to sign a peace deal with anybody”.


“We did not go to Kampala to negotiate and sign an agreement. We were told: come to Kampala, listen to your countrymen and answer them. We listened and our response will be in the statement that we are going to sign,” said Mende.


How it started


Following the ‘defeat’ of the M23 movement in the Eastern part of DRC in December last year, majority of the fighters crossed to Uganda and Rwanda.


This later saw the signing of the peace declarations by the representatives of the Congolese Government, President of the M23 Movement and Presidents of the ICGLR and SADC on December 12 in Nairobi.


On February 11, 2014, DRC announced the promulgation of the Amnesty Law by President Kabila.


Seven days later, through the DRC Embassy in Kampala, the M23 Movement, transmitted to the DRC Head of State a list of its detainees in accordance with point 4.1 of its own Declaration signed in Nairobi.


In that same week, in Kinshasa, the country’s Justice Minister, signed an order laying down the implementing measures of the Amnesty Law for insurgency, acts of war and political offences.


The President of the M23 Movement later designated Mr René Abandi Munyarugerero as Coordinator responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration with the National Monitoring Mechanism established under the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation in the DRC signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 24.


At that time, there was considerable optimism that the DRC conflict would eventually come to an end.


Meetings


In April this year, the first working meeting was held between M23 and the Executive Secretary of the ICGLR responsible for supporting the National Monitoring Mechanism as per Government’s commitments contained in its own Nairobi Declaration.


This meeting brainstormed on the amnesty law and also saw the exchange of the report of the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism regarding the M23 Movement of ex-combatants present in Rwanda and Uganda.


Members discussed the establishment of structures to oversee the implementation of the Nairobi agreement; security measures for ex combatants and the budget for the process.


On April 17, there was an official launch of the identification, registration and the signing of the act of acceptance of the amnesty by the DRC Embassy in Uganda and the coordinator René Abandi.


A few weeks later, a coordination meeting with a delegation of experts from Kinshasa was held at the DRC Embassy to prepare visits to the refugee camps in order to register M23’s Members, civilians and military staffs and to allow them to sign the forms of acceptance and the act of commitment.


The DRC delegation was composed of 10 people led by the Colonel Sam Kabila.


According to Abandi, of all the camps visited, “Rwamwanja is the camp that caught most of our attention, not only because of its size, but by the fact that it is a camp where genocide ideology of the FDLR and their Congolese version (THE NYATURA) are highly widespread among the refugees,” he noted.


He said this phenomenon remains a security threat to the M23 cadres and their families.


Commitments


Abandi noted that DRC has implemented only 1 percent of its commitments of the Nairobi declaration. He said the government of President Kabila has failed on the following grounds: putting in place implementation mechanisms for the law of amnesty; transitional dispositions of security; release of the prisoners; favourable response to the transformation of the M23 Movement to a Political Party; establishment of the commission of demobilization and reintegration; return and resettlement of refugees and IDPs.


Other promises dishonoured by Kabila’s government are the establishment of the commission of looted goods, stolen, extracted or destroyed; establishment of the National Reconciliation Commission; and governance and economic reforms.


Observers say by reneging on its assurances stated in the Nairobi agreement; the DRC government is cultivating ground for an outbreak of a fresh rebellion in eastern Congo.


“The M23 rebels cannot return home to participate in their country’s political processes because Kabila did not live up to his promises. This is dangerous for DRC and the region and also undermines efforts to bring about stability in the Great Lakes region,” said a source.


The rebel group which at one time struck and captured Goma was defeated by a combined force of troops from South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania, DRC and FDLR militia.


Rebels


According to Abandi, the M23 rebels honoured 100 percent of their bargain which includes the declaration of the end of state of rebellion; acceptance of amnesty and the signature of the acts of commitments; transmission of the list of prisoners; transformation into a political party and participation in the commission of the return and resettlement of refugees.


The Movement also confirmed its participation in the Commission of looted goods, extracted, stolen or destroyed and the National Reconciliation Commission as agreed in Nairobi.


Makenga


Abandi said numerous political statements have been made by the government representatives to deny amnesty to some persons belonging to the Movement.


Sources say these include the movement’s military leaders such as Brig Sultani Makenga.


“This is a serious violation of the spirit of the commitments of Nairobi and the law itself which provides amnesty for acts of war, insurrection and political offenses. To this, there wasn’t any exception provided by the declarations of Nairobi or by the Amnesty law itself as passed in the parliament and promulgated by the Head of State,” said Abandi.


He also elaborated that 6 months after both the Congolese government and the M23 Movement signed their respective Declarations (on December 12th 2013), the M23 members who filled out the act of commitment forms continue to be arrested.


“Yet the Order signed by the DRC Minister of Justice implementing the Amnesty Law, talked about the extinction of public action against the M23 members in particular. Nevertheless we note that these arrests have the effect to deter others and (armed) groups to surrender and thus hinders the restoration of lasting peace,” he added.


He also shed light on the assassination case of a former Rebel Paul Shadala also known as Morgan on April 14 which he said “terrifies all ex-combatants wishing to surrender to the Government Forces,” adding, “an Independent Justice System should quickly be formed to shed light on the darkness surrounding these murders to build confidence in processes aimed finding lasting peace.”


According to the MONUSCO publication of May 20, 2014, the medical report dated May 19 2014 in Bunia (DRC) , Congolese army pathologists proved that Morgan died as a result of numerous injuries sustained during torture.


He said DRC’s refusal to release prisoners despite the Movement sending its list in February breaches the Nairobi peace agreement and exposes DRC government’s hypocrisy.


Abandi requested the ICGRL Executive Secretary to urgently summon the two Coordinators (of the Kinshasa Government and the M23 Movement) for a working meeting in regards to evaluate the level of the implementation of the Nairobi’s Declarations; establish a calendar of activities to be performed; establish rapidly the mixed commissions in which will include the M23 members since the DRC government shows no willingness to honour its own commitments.


He said DRC is sick and tired of war.


Abandi also noted that there is more work that needs to be done on finalising the implementation of the commitments of the agreement of March 23 2009 which are still pending not to mention the budget and the sources of funding needed to implement the Declarations.


“We reiterate also our call for a significant involvement of the special envoys of the United Nations, the African Union, the United States and the European Union, according to their role and verbal commitments throughout the negotiations which led to the Declarations of Nairobi.


The M23 Movement is awaiting transformation into a political organization of the Congolese law and in accordance to the article 5 of its own Nairobi’s Declaration.”

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