Didier Reynders pleased with end of M23 insurrection in eastern Congo

date: 06 November 2013

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is pleased that the M23 rebel group has announced the end of the insurrection in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since April 2012, this armed movement has occupied part of North Kivu province and it has attacked the city of Goma on several occasions. The Minister noted the effectiveness of the Congolese Armed Forces, which played a decisive role in bringing an end to the crisis. It was essential for the DRC to be able to exercise complete sovereignty and authority over its territory before starting to work on a solution for the challenges facing Africa’s Great Lakes Region. Minister Reynders also applauds the involvement of MONUSCO in protecting the population and neutralising agitators. MONUSCO is led by Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, and by Force Commander Dos Santo.

Minister Reynders considers it critical to end the acts of violence perpetrated by various armed groups active throughout the region so that the population can live in peace and the development projects that are so essential to re-establishing the rule of law can be started. In this context, the Minister is pleased that local authorities plan to return to the liberated areas and he hopes that all measures will be taken to ensure long-term stability. Initiatives in this area will be able to count on Belgium’s support.

Minister Reynders urged that all commitments set out in the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement for the DRC and the region be implemented. Dialogue and cooperation between the various countries in the region are necessary to maintain these efforts, together with the support of the international community.