DR Congo Rebels Encouraged to Uphold Ceasefire Promise

Soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) prepare to escort health workers attached to ebola response programs on May 18, 2019 in Butembo, north of Kivu. – The town of Butembo is at the heart of the Ebola crisis in the North-Kivu province. Ebola treatment centres (ETC’s) have come under attack frequently by alleged Mai-Mai rebel groups hampering the response. (Photo by JOHN WESSELS / AFP)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s M23 rebels have been encouraged by the UN Secretary-General to abide by a ceasefire agreement that will take effect on Tuesday.

In an attempt to put an end to a conflict that has already resulted in hundreds of thousands of displaced people, Antonio Guterres has praised regional and global initiatives spearheaded by the president of Angola and the African Union.

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Heavy fighting has continued in North Kivu province between the Congolese army and the M23 group hours before the Angolan-mediated ceasefire comes into force.

The UN Secretary General has called for all armed groups to completely disarm and lay down their weapons and condemned all acts of violence against civilians.

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In order to facilitate a complete and effective withdrawal from the areas it has occupied, some of which are close to Goma, the largest city in the east of the nation, Mr. Guterres has asked the M23 to uphold a promise to end hostilities.

Thousands of people have been displaced by the ongoing conflict in the past year, which has sparked allegations that Rwanda is funding the rebels, which Kigali disputes.

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