The M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have rejected the ceasefire expected to take effect on Friday evening, and calling on the DR Congo government for a face-to-face negotiation.
Canisius Munyarugerero said the group is ignoring Wednesday’s decisions in the Angolan capital, Luanda, because “we were not invited to that meeting” to deliberate on the DR Congo crisis.
A day before the Luanda summit, the M23 rebels issued a statement warning of the looming genocide against Congolese Tutsi in Masisi.
East African leaders including representatives from Rwanda, DR Congo, Burundi and the former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, leading the mediations convened in Luanda in the meeting hosted by the Angolan president, João Lourenço.
“We M23 are not Burundians, we are not Rwandans, we are not Kenyans, not even Angolans. We are Congolese, and we are home, they are telling us to withdraw to where?” Munyarugerero questioned.
The M23 insurgents now occupy most of North Kivu province and is threatening to capture Goma, the main city in eastern Congo.
Earlier, they held locations around Sabinyo Volcano bordering Rwanda. The Luanda meeting agreed that if M23 did not abide by the deadline, regional forces deployed to the eastern DR Congo would enforce it.
Asked if they were ready to face a regional force, Munyarugerero said: “Just know that we won’t retreat.”
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