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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Briefing: DRC’s M23 rebellion under pressure

Heavy fighting broke out on 15 November in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo between M23 rebels and government forces (FARDC), breaking a virtual truce that had lasted on the frontlines between these forces for nearly three months. M23 (The Mouvement Du 23 Mars) began in April 2012 as an army mutiny by several hundred soldiers who accused the government of breaching the terms of a March 2009 peace deal under which the rebel group they then belonged to, the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) morphed into a political party while CNDP fighters joined the army. …

Jason Stearns, director of the Rift Valley Institute’s Usalama Project, in an October report on the M23, commented that with only an estimated 1,500-2,500 fighters, the movement lacked the manpower to expand its territory.

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