M23 acting chief, Major Emmanuel Bayingana, says they are not sure about the safety of their rebel commander, Brigadier Sultan Makenga, who vanished from Bihanga Military Training School.
He says given the trend of events in DRC, the rebel have no idea of Makenga’s whereabouts, making a point that it could be too difficult for them to tell whether he is alive or dead.
The anti- Kabila’s rule rebel ex-combatants have announced that they will soon be back to a war business accusing following Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government’s disappointing failure to honor the December 2013 peace agreement.
Maj Bayingana says they are fed up of President Joseph Kabila’s current government service.
The threats by the M23 ex-combatants stem from recent claims that some of their colleagues who were repatriated as part of the peace agreement were locked up and tortured and said they are edging closer to bringing fresh attacks against Kabila, who willingly broke the peace agreement.
Captain Willy Ngoma, one of the M23 ex-combatants told URN at Bihanga Military Training School in Ibanda district on Wednesday that they will not just sit in Uganda, eat and sleep while their families are under attack from DRC government forces.
Ngoma says prior to their defeat and relocation to Uganda in 2013, United Nations asked them to leave Goma, the North Kivu provincial capital, which was in their control to pave wave for talks but they suddenly came under fire from the UN Intervention Brigade.
Major Emmanuel Bayingana, another M23 former fighter, says they have had enough from President Joseph Kabila’s government. Bayingana says they are not sure about the safety of their commander, Brigadier Sultan Makenga, who vanished from Bihanga Military Training School.
Bayingana says although they are not armed, they will put up a fight since they are trained soldiers. According to Bayingana, they are only waiting for a signal from their leaders he didn’t disclose to wage war, since efforts by their political leaders led by Bertrand Bisiimwa to engage the Kinshasa government has failed to yield results.
Lt. Colonel Innocent Rukara, the commander of the M23 ex-combatants at Bihanga Military Training School, says the former fighters have lost hope and don’t think the DRC is committed to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. He says the DRC government has gone to the extent of making them think their home province of North Kivu doesn’t matter to the authorities.
M23 rebel movement was founded after a peace agreement they signed with the Congolese government on March 23, 2009 when they were fighting as part of National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) rebel group led by Col Bosco Ntaganda.
Many of CNDP fighters were integrated into the DRC government, the FARDC.The rebels belong to the minority Tutsi ethnic group with close ties to the Tutsi in neighbouring Rwanda and Burundi. CNDP rebellion began in April 2012 when, as government soldiers, they mutinied.
In March 2013, infighting within the M23 rebel ranks forced Ntaganda to seek refuge in Rwanda from where he was handed over to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. He now awaits trial for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.
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