Kinshasa, DRC | Xinhua | The president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Thursday called for a national mobilization against the armed aggression by the rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23).
President Felix Tshisekedi made the remark in his televised speech on the occasion of the celebration of the 62nd anniversary of the country’s independence on June 30, 1960.
A recent resurgence of the M23 rebels has escalated tensions and conflict in the eastern DRC, leading to a dramatic increase in civilian casualties and displacement.
“In this regard, as the guarantor of national unity and cohesion, I reiterate my constitutional oath to maintain independence and territorial integrity and to safeguard national unity. I reassure the Congolese people that I will spare no effort to ensure that peace and security are restored and that the aggressors are repelled from our territory,” he said, calling for a “general mobilization” against the M23 aggression.
During the third East African Community (EAC) Heads of State conclave on June 20, leaders agreed to deploy a regional force to stabilize and secure peace in the DRC.
“It is in this same perspective that the deployment of a regional force in the eastern part of our country should be placed in support of our defense and security forces, made up of troops from certain friendly countries, members of the EAC, in order to contribute to the definitive eradication of violence and insecurity,” said Tshisekedi.
The M23 consists of former rebels of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) and got its name from the March 23, 2009 agreement between the CNDP and the Congolese government.