M23 rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have declared a war against what they say is a Genocide targeting Kinyarwanda-speaking communities in the eastern part of the country.
In a statement issued by the M23 spokesperson, Lawrence Kanyuka, the rebel movement said they will take up arms to end the ethnic violence which they say the international community has failed to stop.
“The M23 Movement Directorate informs the international community of the following; on previous holocaust commemorations of the 60s, 70s and 80s, the world said ‘never again’ to Genocide but it was just a slogan as in 1994 the same ideology struck again in Rwanda where more than one million Tutsi were butchered.”
“We have warned the world many times that the DRC Government is planning Genocide in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu. Unfortunately the worst is happening right now under the watchful eye of the world,” the M23 added in the statement.
The rebels, mainly former members of the Congolese national army, who picked up arms again last year after they accused the government of reneging on peace agreements signed earlier and inciting ethnic violence, say genocide is already going on in parts of the country.
“Genocide against Congolese Tutsi is underway in Kitchanga, Burungu, Kilolirwe and the surroundings, perpetrated by DRC Government’s coalition, including their killing machine FDLR.”
“Consequently, the M23 finds itself obliged to intervene and stop another Genocide in the Great Lakes Region of Africa as the world has failed to render assistance to a community under threat of extermination.” the rebels conclude.
The rebels, who until recently had agreed to leave their positions, in line with Luanda and Nairobi agreements, accuse the Congolese Government forces FDLR or violating the peace accords and allying with armed groups including FDLR, Mai Mai, PARECO and Nyatura to carry out massacres of Congolese of Tutsi origin.
The declaration when Congolese refugees in Rwanda and across the region are calling on the international community to intervene and ensure that they safely repatriate back to their ancestral home in North and South Kivu, which they fled due to ethnic violence.