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By Godfrey Olukya 22-11-2012

M23 rebels fighting against Democratic republic of Congo (DRC) government have been ordered to stop fighting and also withdraw from Goma city which they seized recently.

This comes after DRC president Joseph Kabila holding talks with Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda over the situation in Congo.

Of recent, the rebels attacked and overpowered government troops. They recently seized Goma city when government troops fled on seeing the rebels attacking them.

President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the Chairman of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), together with his counterparts, Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have for the last two days been locked in discussions in Kampala on how to address the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the Eastern DRC after the capture of North Kivu capital of Goma by the M23 rebels.

In a joint communiqué issued in Kampala last evening and read by Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Sam Kutesa at Speke Resort Hotel in Munyonyo, President Museveni and his Rwanda counterpart President Kagame made it clear that even if there were legitimate grievances by the mutinying group of M23, the two leaders cannot accept the expansion of this war or entertain the idea of over-throwing the legitimate government of the DRC or undermine it’s authority.

‘The two leaders concurred that the M23 rebel group must immediately stop its offensive and pull out of Goma.’ the statement read.

A plan to this end, they emphasized, is being communicated to the M23 group.

The Government of the DRC on its part has made a commitment to look expeditiously into the causes of the discontent of the mutinying group and address them as best as it can. The 3 leaders proposed that a comprehensive and operational plan
geared towards lasting peace and stability, be drawn up as a matter of urgency. They also welcomed the support of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, who dispatched a special envoy to Kampala to meet them and discuss the matter.

Asked by journalists on whether he was willing to negotiate with the M23 rebels, President Kabila said that his government was to evaluate the agreements the DRC Government signed with the M23 in the recent past and that the agreement will be the basis for his government to respond to the demands of M23.

On his part, President Museveni said that the M23 will have to accept the recommendation of the ICGLR to pull out of Goma since this is the stand of the region.

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