Nations calls for permanent disarmament of M23 rebels
Media NEW YORK—The United Nations
Security Council has called for the immediate and permanent disarmament
of the March 23 movement (M23) rebel group in the Democratic Republic of
On Thursday, Liu Jieyi of China, who holds the council's presidency
in November, said that the council "calls for...the disarmament and
demobilization of the M23 and accountability for human rights abusers."
On Wednesday, Abdallah Wafi, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's
deputy special representative to Congo, said the country should prepare a
plan to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate former rebels M23.
He made the remarks a week after the UN mission in Congo, known as
MONUSCO, helped the Congolese army defeat the 18-month-old M23
Wafi said the measure, which he called DDR plan, is key to ensure peace and security in the country's violence-ridden east.
On November 5, the M23 announced an end to their revolt after a bruising offensive by the Congolese army and UN forces.M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa said in a statement that the group would disarm and pursue political talks.
The M23 rebels seized Goma on November 20, 2012 after UN
peacekeepers gave up the battle for the frontier city of one million
people. M23 rebels withdrew from the city on December 1 under a
The M23 rebels defected from the Congolese army in April 2012 in
protest over alleged mistreatment in the army. They had previously been
integrated into the Congolese army under a peace deal signed in 2009.
Since early May 2012, nearly three million people have fled their
homes in the eastern Congo. About 2.5 million have resettled in Congo,
but about 500,000 have crossed into neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.
Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades, such as
grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of
the country that has dragged on since 1998 and left over 5.5 million