DRC Peace Deal To Be Signed Today

1746 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
The defeated M23 rebels are to sign a peace deal with the D R Congo government on Monday, bringing to an end more than 20 months of fighting in the east of the vast country.

The defeated M23 rebels are to sign a peace deal with the D R Congo government on Monday, bringing to an end more than 20 months of fighting in the east of the vast country.
 
After months of delays, the peace agreement appears to be the most realistic option for the rebels after they were beaten and forced out of their positions by a combined force from the DRC army and the United Nations Intervention Brigade.
 
Uganda government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo is quoted by the local media as saying the peace deal will be signed at State House Entebbe.
 
The rebels, who accuse Kinshasa of reneging on an earlier deal with another movement of ethnic Tutsis, gave up their insurrection last week after the army backed by a U.N. force routed them from their hideouts. The rebel leaders later announced a ceasefire and asked their fighters to prepare for disarmament.
 
The M23 military commander, Brigadier Sultani Makenga, is among thousands of fighters currently in Uganda after the fled the heavy fighting. Uganda has been trying with international support to mediate an end to the fighting.
 
Makenga's surrender is being viewed as a major achievement for the DRC as it struggles to impose order in the largely lawless eastern part.
 
But analysts are skeptical there will be sustained peace in an area devastated by two decades of conflict that has killed millions and is still home to other fighting groups including the Allied Democratic Forces—ADF and the remnants of the former Rwandan army, the FDLR.
 
Brian Dlamini, a country risk analyst for Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa, told Reuters that it is unlikely the issues at hand would be resolved, describing the DRC as a country of many countries.
 
Even before the peace deal is signed, the M23 Rebels have already written to President Yoweri Museveni over the presence of their ex- Combatants on the Ugandan soil.
 
According to a letter dated November 7th and signed by the M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa, the rebels are informing the president that they are finding it difficult to surrender or be disarmed by the DRC army, preferring to do so in Uganda.
 
According to Bisimwa, the ex-combatants felt insecure under the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration under the supervision of the same forces that fought against them. Bisimwa further revealed the rebels have not forgotten the challenges which they have always gone through in the process of being reintegrated into the Congolese army citing the March 23, 2009 peace deal which was never honoured by the Kinshasa government. It is from the March 23 date that the rebels coined their name, M23.
 
The rebels now say that they have decided to pursue their goals politically and say that they will continue to push for peace talks with the Kinshasa government.