KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The leader of eastern Congo’s M23 rebel movement says the group will disband only if another rebel group that is composed of ethnic Rwandan Hutu fighters is disarmed and Congolese refugees return home from neighboring countries.
Bertrand Bisimwa, the M23 president, told The Associated Press Sunday that M23 fighters were not interested in joining the Congolese army.
He said M23 is prepared to disband if the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, is disarmed. In the past Rwanda has justified military intervention in Congo to protect itself against the FDLR, some of whose core members took part in the 1994 genocide.
Bisimwa’s comments came ahead of upcoming peace talks in Uganda and after Congolese President Joseph Kabila said government troops would resume their offensive against M23 if the talks failed.