M23 leaders on Thursday, January 12 said they were committed to a ceasefire in eastern DRC on condition that government and foreign troops stop targeting them.
The rebels’ representatives made the remarks during their meeting with former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Mombasa, Kenya.
Kenyatta is championing the peace process in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The perennial ethnic and territorial war in eastern DRC has claimed the lives of thousands and the displacement of millions of people.
“In demonstration of goodwill and the willingness to work towards the settlement of the situation in the North Kivu, the leaders of the M23 agreed to continue with an orderly withdrawal and to adhere to a strict ceasefire,” said a Thursday statement of the meeting between Kenyatta and the rebels’ representatives.
“They (M23 leadership) further agreed to continue to respect and cooperate with the East African Regional Force that has now begun to lake control of the areas vacated by the M23; a process that is in adherence to the decision of the extraordinary meeting of the EAC Chiefs of General Staff held in Bujumbura in November 2022.”
The rebel leaders asked Kenyatta to ensure that “all the local and foreign armed groups fighting in the eastern DRC also lay down their arms, cease any fighting or attacks on the M23 and seek resolution of the conflict through peaceful means”.