The M23 claims that the DRC government refuses to talk despite its willingness to withdraw from the fighting.

File – Soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a file image. – ALAIN UAYKANI / XINHUA NEWS / CONTACTOPHOTO

The rebel group Mouvement 23 Marches (M23) has assured that the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) refuses to engage in dialogue despite the fact that this very Wednesday they have again reiterated their willingness to sit down to negotiate their withdrawal from the fighting in the east of the country.

«We are ready to go (…) When two people fight you have to have both sides of the story. We send this message to Uhuru Kenyatta (former president of Kenya) and the president of Angola, (João Lourenço). They should listen to us, even if we were not in Nairobi,» explained one of their spokesmen, Willy Ngoma.

He specified that the M23 wants «peace» and that «they are ready». «But the government does not want to talk to us. If we get out of here, we will talk to anyone,» he said, as reported by the news portal Actualité.

The rebel group announced on Tuesday its intentions to withdraw from the occupied territories and to maintain the cease-fire through a communiqué shortly after the Rwandan government criticized the «erroneous and misguided» position of the international community regarding this conflict, according to DPA.

Relations between the DRC and Rwanda have been in crisis since the massive arrival in eastern DRC of Rwandan Hutus accused of massacring Tutsis during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Tensions rose again in May, when the Congolese government summoned the Rwandan ambassador to denounce the alleged support of the country to the M23, something rejected by Kigali, which claims that Kinshasa gives support to the FLDR to perpetrate attacks in Rwanda.

The M23 has been accused since November 2021 of carrying out attacks against Army positions in North Kivu, despite Congolese authorities and the M23 signed in December 2013 a peace agreement following fighting since 2012 with the Army, which was supported by UN troops. UN experts accused Uganda and Rwanda of supporting the rebels, although both countries denied it.