Our official response to the human right watch’s report of December 2017

The M23 Movement’s Directorate has read with a particular attention the report of the organization of defense of human rights called human right watch hence would like, therefore, to bring forth the following clarifications:

  1. Since the signing of the Declarations of Nairobi the Congolese Government has compromise their implementation in the way to offer itself the freedom to organise and conduct a series of unilatetal and clandestines repatriation contrary to the spirit and the letter of the commitments undertaken on December 12th, 2013 in Nairobi. One will recall the forced repatriation of December 2014 where 186 ex M23 combatants were taken forcedly from Bihanga camp in Uganda to kamina and kitona, in this regard only the Congolese Government can tell what happened afterwards
  2. The recruitment-rapatriements, meanwhile started towards the end December 2016, after the beginning of the popular protest and the return of General Sulitani Makenga back to the country to support the people’s cause. they continued with the transfer of ex-combatants on September 12th, 2017 during the meeting of technical support committee of the framework agreement of Addis Ababa held in Goma on October 18th, 2017 on the Eve of the 7th ordinary summit of heads of state of the cirgl held in Brazzaville on October 19th, 2017. these repatriation operations on these well-chosen dates had the apparent aim of avoid the debate on the implementation of the Declarations of Nairobi during these meetings.
  3. Those involved in these recruitments-repatriations are among the deserters and other undiscipled expelled from our movement but found shelters in refugees’ camps other than official Cantonment sites like bihanga in Uganda and kibungo in Rwanda.
  4. The recruited returnees come from different communities. Presenting them as coming from the only Tutsi community borders on stigma and ethnic hatred.
  5. Under the Declarations of Nairobi, our Movement the M23 had opted for the demobilization of its ex-combatants. Recruiting them clandestinely into the Army is a strategy of poaching already known by the public which the application began with the opposition political parties and citizens’ movements with sole purpose to weaken citizens’ challenges.
  6. These recruitments-repatriations pose problem of protection for the recruitedreturnees since the guarantee given for their protection is provided by the Annex A of the Declarations of Nairobi on the transitional security provisions that the Congolese Government purposely refused to implement. It goes without saying that these ex-combatants once on Congolese soil are left to the mercy of the DRC Government which has the privilage to use them in any kind of activity of its choice.
  7. The recruitment and the use by the Drc Government of the deserters and other undiscipled expelled by our Movement the M23 for the purposes of repressing the citizen’s protest have as sole motivation to keep our organisation away from the people; which is unacceptable.
  8. Above all, one would like to know : what is the operational capability of 200 ex-M23 combatants to cover a vast area equivalent to 10.789,72 km² (Kinshasa: 9.965 km², Lubumbashi: 747 km², Goma: 75,72 km²). We, hereby, request that the human right watch to thoroughly deepen its investigations for among other things, to shade the light on real motivation of these recruitments.
  9. We strongly deny, subject to the guarantee of evidence any involvement of the M23 leadership to these clandestines operations of the Congolese Government. The highlighted case of yusufu mboneza that HRW raises is totally and pure fabrication as this Colonel left Ugandan soil at the same time as the General Sultani Makenga and never return since. It is, therefore, inconceivable that he was able to organize a recruitment meeting in Ugandan soil in 2017.
  10. We denounce this targeted and characteristic nomenclature ex-RCD, ex-CNDP, exm23 that the HRW use to elaborate the acts posed by those ex-combatants from RCD, CNDP and M23 who joined the FARDC but for others, it uses just the name FARDC so deliberately refaining to call them as ex-FCC, ex-MLC, ex-RDC-KML, exUPC, ex-FDLR, ex-nyatura, ex-apcls, ex-Rai mutomboki, ex-may-may vurondo, expareco-FAP, ex-may-may kasindien, ex-may-may kifuafua, ex-may-may Mongolian, ex-may-may ruhenzori, ex-may-may Simba, ex-may-may ujps, etc.
  11. We, hereby, disagree with the HRW for the way it portrait the M23 Movement as responsible for the acts committed by ex-combatants of our movement, CNDP and RCD while Acting under the sole command of the Congolese Government. Only the Congolese Government should bear this responsibility.
  12. Is it a relentless fight against these former politico-military movements that the HRW always identifies in relation to a ethnic group, when it is considered that all its reports on armed groups revolve only around these three ex-movements Politicomilitary yet there are more than 80 armed groups in DRC according to the United Nations, which continue to commit the most atrocious atrocities in the history of the DRC.
  13. Is the problem of this organisation linked to an ethnic group or to the reprehensible acts which are committed on Congolese soil.

In addition, this is the immediate consequence of resignation of the guarantors of the Declarations of Nairobi in relation to their commitment undertaken through their communiqué of December 12th, 2013 in Nairobi. this has left the DRC Government free to roam around to do these recruitments-repatriations. Leaving the Congolese Government to act as it wants can only jeopardize the peace and stability not only of the DRC but also of the Great Lakes Region.

Kampala, December 04th 2017


Bertrand Bisimwa
The Chairman of the M23 Movement
E-mail: mouvementdu23mars2@gmail.com
Website: www.m23-mars.org
© Congoindépendant 2003-2017



Recrutement de rebelles du M23 pour réprimer les manifestations en République démocratique du Congo
Recrutement de rebelles du M23 pour réprimer les manifestations en République démocratique du Congo


Les forces de sécurité en République démocratique du Congo ont tué au moins 62 personnes et en ont arrêté des centaines d’autres pendant les manifestations à travers le pays entre le 19 et le 22 décembre 2016, après que le président Joseph Kabila ait refusé de quitter ses fonctions à la fin de la limite des deux mandats permis par la Constitution.

Alors que les gens descendaient dans les rues – utilisant des sifflets, tapant sur des casseroles et des poêles et criant que le temps de Kabila au pouvoir était terminé – les forces de sécurité gouvernementales ont tiré à balles réelles et ont lancé des gaz lacrymogènes sur les manifestants. Certains témoins ont entendu des soldats leur crier: « Nous sommes là pour vous exterminer tous! » Des activistes et des leaders de l’opposition ont été jetés en prison dans les jours précédant les manifestations et pendant celles-ci, tandis que les forces de sécurité ont blessé, menacé, détenu ou interdit d’accès des journalistes internationaux et congolais qui couvraient les manifestations. Au lendemain des manifestations, les autorités ont refusé aux proches de victimes l’accès aux hôpitaux et aux morgues, empêchant de nombreuses familles d’enterrer leurs morts…