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M23, DR Congo army hold talks

The M23 rebel group says it welcomed, on Tuesday, delegates from the DR Congo army, FARDC, for a meeting that took place in Kibumba in the restive North Kivu region.M23, DR Congo army hold talks

The move, the M23 said, bodes well with regional leaders’ efforts to find a durable solution to the ongoing conflict in DR Congo.

The rebels said the development was especially welcome given previous failed attempts to hold dialogue between the two sides.

Also at the meeting, M23 said in a statement, were delegates from the East African Regional Force (EACRF), Ad Hoc Verification Mechanism, the United Nations Mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO) as well as the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM).

The discussions, M23 added, took place “in a peaceful atmosphere”, citing that it was looking forward to further in the future.

It is not clear what exacty the two sides discussed or agreed.

But the rebel group repeated its appeal to end ongoing violence in the region, which it blames on the government side.

“The M23 renews its appeal to the international community by sounding the alarm on the ongoing genocide and to the selective nature of humanitarian organizations that do not assist victims of Bwiza and its surroundings,” the statement reads in part.

Reports of dialogue between the two warring parties amid ongoing protests by thousands of Congolese refugees in Kigeme camp in Rwanda, against what they call genocidal violence being committed against Tutsi communities in eastern DR Congo, despite the presence of UN peacekeepers in the area.

The camp, which is located in Southern Province’s Nyamagabe District, is home to some 14,000 Congolese refugees who fled to Rwanda a decade ago.

They say they want to return to a peaceful DR Congo.

In a peaceful protest around the camp held on Monday, December 12, the refugees carried placards, with messages including, Stop genocide and Genocide is deplorable in presence of the UN.

“We demand justice,” a marching crowd chanted. “We want to return home.”

They said their kin were being killed by armed groups, including the genocidal FDLR (originally from Rwanda where they are blamed for the slaughter of more than a million people during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi) and Mai-Mai militia, with both groups having formed an alliance with the Congolese army in the ongoing conflict.

M23, DR Congo army hold talks
M23, DR Congo army hold talks

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