M23 rebels welcome US-brokered ceasefire in DR Congo

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The M23 rebel group has agreed to honour a three-day US-brokered ceasefire deal with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s army.

The group’s spokesman, Lawrence Kanyuka, said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter) that the rebels accepted the deal “since it is in line with the M23’s existing signed ceasefire of 7 March 2023”.

The rebel group had not consulted about the deal before its completion, according to Mr Kanyuka.

Despite agreeing to the ceasefire, the M23 said they would “not hesitate” to defend themselves – and the civillian populations under their control – from the army or government-allied militia.

The ceasefire began on Monday midday, according to a statement by US National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson.

It comes as an East African peacekeeping force withdraws its troops from DR Congo after the government refused to renew its mandate.

Previous ceasefire deals have been breached, leading to fresh fighting between the army and the rebels.

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