Justice and Accountability

Enough Project Statements on M23 Surrender

Date: 
Nov 5, 2013

ENOUGH PROJECT MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 5, 2013

Contact: Carine Umuhumuza, cumuhumuza@enoughproject.org, 202-478-5314

GOMA, DR CONGO, AND WASHINGTON, DC – The M23 rebel group in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has agreed to end its insurgency says M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa in a statement released today.

Fighting between the rebel group and Congo's army has displaced more than 800,000 people since M23 took over the eastern provinces in 2012.

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:

"The end of M23 rebellion is cause for joy in eastern Congo. But until there is a peace process that deals with the refugee, economic, and security issues between Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, instability in the region will continue. US and UN envoys Russ Feingold and Mary Robinson should partner with the African Union to help organize these negotiations and ensure that they are inclusive of Congo's civil society."

Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast said:

"The demise of the M23 shows what is possible when the international community unites around a specific objective and deploys the diplomatic and military assets necessary to succeed.  Deeper issues driving violence in Congo remain, so it is imperative that current momentum leads into broader regional negotiations aimed at improving relations, particularly between Rwanda and Congo, as well as a more credible internal political process aimed at improved governance and army reform."

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

 

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New Report: UN, US should address FDLR and M23 rebel threats in Congo

Date: 
Oct 28, 2013

Enough Project Press Release
 
For Immediate Release
 
Contact:
Sandi Fox, sfox@enoughproject.org, 202-478-6325 

New Report: UN, US should address FDLR and M23 rebel threats in Congo
 
A new Enough Project report argues that the United Nations and U.S. government should address regional security threats in Africa's Great Lakes region by working with Congo, Rwanda, and the U.N. Intervention Brigade to contain the rebel groups Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, and M23. “Taking Back Eastern Congo: Comprehensively Addressing the FDLR and M23 Rebel Groups” discusses Congo and Rwanda’s most prominent security concerns, blending analysis, field research, and interviews in Goma and the surrounding region.
 
The report also provides recommendations for regional envoys. These recommendations include promoting a sustained focus on core security issues; developing disarmament and reintegration plans for the M23 and Congolese armed groups; and improving operational intelligence, humanitarian measures as well as public outreach for the U.N. peacekeeping mission and new intervention brigade.
 
The report takes stock of the strength levels and recent battlefield dynamics involving two key rebel groups with different connections to Rwanda that shape security concerns for governments on both sides of the Congo-Rwanda border. The FDLR is headed by some of the perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and it has attacked Rwanda in the past year. Kigali believes the FDLR poses an existential security threat. The M23 is an offshoot of several previous rebel groups, and the U.N. and other groups have linked it to the Rwandan government, but Kigali denies the link. “Taking Back Eastern Congo” argues that neutralizing a weakened FDLR through a more robust and comprehensive strategy could mitigate Rwanda’s security concerns in eastern Congo. Alleviating these Rwandan security concerns could, in turn, result in a more rapid solution to the M23.
 
Goma-based Enough Project field researcher and report co-author Timo Mueller says, “As the U.N. peacekeeping force and the Intervention Brigade work to improve their capabilities on the ground, it is also as important that the U.N., U.S., African Union, and European Union envoys encourage substantive talks to take place as soon as possible on the security interests of states in the region, including support for rebel groups.”
 
Enough Project field researcher and report co-author Fidel Bafilemba adds,“The people of eastern Congo have been bearing the brunt of the many atrocities of the FDLR rebel group. Regional leaders must finally commit to resolving this issue once and for all.”

Read the report, Taking Back Eastern Congo: Comprehensively Addressing the FDLR and M23 Rebel Groups: http://www.enoughproject.org/files/TakingBackEasternCongo-report.pdf

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

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