DRC M23 rebels end rebellion, say ready to disarm
05 November 2013, 18:42
Kinshasa - The Democratic Republic of Congo's M23 rebel
group declared an end to its 20-month rebellion on Tuesday and said it was
ready to disarm and demobilise troops and pursue a political solution to end
the crisis in the east of the country.
The M23 declaration was issued hours after government forces
drove the rebel fighters out of their last two strongholds at around 03:00 on
African leaders had urged the group to renounce their
rebellion to allow the signing of a peace agreement with President Joseph
"The chief of general staff and the commanders of all
major units are requested to prepare troops for disarmament, demobilisation and
reintegration on terms to be agreed with the government of Congo," M23
leader Bertrand Bisimwa said in a statement.
Congolese government spokesperson Laurent Mende said many
rebel fighters were surrendering after government soldiers seized control of
Tshanzu and Runyoni. Mende said the Kinshasa government was ready to pursue
"In a region that has suffered so much, this is
obviously a significant positive step in the right direction," Russell
Feingold, US special envoy to the DRC and the Great Lakes region, told
reporters at a briefing in Pretoria.