M23 Writes To Museveni: Bloody War Is Looming

there geneva; font-size: small;”>In his letter dated April 11, which Chimpreports has seen, the rebel movement’s president Bertrand Bisiimwa says “M23 is determined to give more chance to peace, and respectfully does request Your Excellency to continue supporting the peace option through a true dialogue which cannot go hand in hand with the military alternative.”

The United Nations last month resolved to dispatch troops to Eastern Congo to engage rebels in close military combat.

Tanzania and South Africa are among the countries expected to deploy in Eastern Congo before the end of this month.

South African troops and military equipment have been stationed at Entebbe Airbase.


Observers warn the UN intervention is likely to spark a regional war considering that M23 is alleged to be funded by Rwanda, a nation at loggerheads with Tanzania and South Africa.

Kigali vehemently denies the charge.

Experts say the UN intervention brigade is likely to find trouble defeating M23 in the mountainous territory which could raise suspicions that Rwanda is reinforcing the rebels.

M23 leaders especially Brig Sultani Makenga have fought several wars in the area and know every corner and trench in Bunagana, Rutshuru and neighbouring areas.

The UN brigade combatants are likely to appear as creatures from outer space which could lead to a through defeat at the hands of battle-hardened rebels.

The Tanzanian army has spent over 30 years without being actively engaged in combat while the South African troops, despite being well equipped, lack experience in counter insurgency operations.

The humiliating defeat and killing of 13 South African soldiers in Central African Republic as they propped up Francois Bozize’s crumbling regime has raised queries on whether the President Jacob Zuma’s army can successfully carry out counter insurgency operations in a densely forested territory of Congo’s nature.

A highly possible defeat of the UN brigade in Kivu could worsen the already bad relations between South Africa and Tanzania on one hand and Rwanda on the other.

And in a bid to cover up a likely humiliating defeat by rebels, Tanzania and South Africa could attack Rwanda, leading to a regional war.

Bisiimwa’s letter is seen as a last olive branch to the international community to either embrace peace or prepare for war.

Below is the M23 president’s letter to Museveni in full:


President of Republic of Uganda,

Chairman of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region “ICGLR”.

RE: The UN Resolution 2098 of March 28th2013

Your Excellency,

I am respectfully writing to you because, in the ongoing political and security turmoil in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, you have chosen to support our country in its quest for peace, and you have agreed to facilitate the mediation between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government and MOUVEMENT DU 23 MARS (M23).

As you are aware, after M23 took control of the city of Goma in November 2013, the Heads of States of ICGLR countries encouraged the Movement to withdraw from the city in a bid to allow the possibility of finding a political solution.

Understanding and willing to give a chance to peace within a regional context and support, M23 joined the framework of peace talks in Kampala, after imposing itself a unilateral cease-fire while the DRC government refused to agree for a bilateral cease-fire.

The starting point of contention was the March 23rd Agreement, concluded in 2009, which the DRC government has not fulfilled.

As the negotiations progressed the DRC government delegation showed no willingness to deal with the causes of the crisis and was frustrating the efforts to bringing back peace. Instead, the government delegation flew back to Kinshasa for so called consultations with their officials.

The truth is, as it can be seen today, that the DRC Government was working on a war strategy, which involved a serious implication of the United Nations (UN).

Today, this strategy has resulted into the UN Security Council’s resolution creating belligerent force to wage war on armed groups in Eastern DRC, targeting specifically M23, instead of keeping peace, which is the UN mission. This decision is seriously grave on several accounts mainly the following:

– It violates the regional effort initiated under the mediation of ICGLR, of which you are the current Chairman, making a regional solutionimpossible and despising the effort you country and ICGLR have already invested in the process,

– It initiates a war with an unexpected consequences, particularly on populations that have already suffered greatly,

– It creates a precedent that establishes the victory of force over reason.

Still committed to peace under the regional mediation, M23 is determined to give more chance to peace, and respectfully does request Your Excellency to continue supporting the peace option through a true dialogue which cannot go hand in hand with the military alternative.

While the DRC government, its allies and the UN give preference to the option of war, M23 will work tirelessly for a sustainable peace in the DRC.


M23 President

Bertrand Bisiimwa

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