The UN, the African Union AU, the European Union EU and the International Organization of La Francophonie IOF released a joint statement warning that the situation in DRC has the potential to undermine the political goodwill that led to the signing of the agreement in December.
At least 38 of the dead were shot, others died after being burnt, stabbed, beaten or attacked with machetes. The dead included seven women and two children, one of them a five-year-old girl who was shot in the back.
The joint appeal was made by the African Union AU, the United Nations UN, the European Union EU, in a statement issued Saturday. The international bodies were joined by the 57 member International Organization of the worlds French-speaking countries also known as La Francophonie OIF.
In the peace declaration as it is now called, M23 and the Congolese government agreed to the eleven clauses of the negotiations without changing them. They include the transformation of M23 into a political party and dissolution of the armed force, amnesty for the rebels on charges of war and insurgency, a transitional security arrangement for the rebels to be disarmed, the release of the rebels under government detention among others.
Muhindo Nzangi, the MP for Lubero area in North Kivu Province, appeared on Monday before the Congolese Supreme Court of Justice, where he was charged with insulting President Kabila. It is alleged that while appearing on Radio Kivu in Goma city on Sunday, Nzangi made utterances which were prejudicial to the internal and external security of the state.
As regional leaders issued a statement in Kampala ordering the rebels to withdraw from Goma immediately, the M23 started what they called an advance on the South Kivuâ€™s main town of Bukavu. They captured Sake, a small town located 27km west of Goma on the Goma-Bukavu road. They were reported to be preparing to head south to Bukavu, which is about 230km from Goma.