DRC: Could Tshisekedi and the M23 rebels finally talk?

By Romain Gras, Stanis Bujakera Tshiamala
Posted on Monday, 14 November 2022 16:10

Congolese who fled the M23 advance settle along National Road 2 in Kanyaruchinya, the northern district of Goma, on 2 November 2022. ©ALEXIS HUGUET/AFP

The M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo are hoping to force the government to give them a seat at the table when talks resume on 16 November in Nairobi. But for now, Félix Tshisekedi has said “No”.

First, there was Bunagana. Now there is Kiwanja and Rutshuru… Only a few months after taking up arms again, as it launched a new offensive on 20 October, the M23 rebels have gained further ground.

The rebels now occupy positions only a few dozen kilometres from Goma, which they are threatening to seize as they did at the end of 2012.

A turbulent end to Tshisekedi’s mandate

In her statement to the UN Security Council last June, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the DRC, Bintou Keita, said the “robust and proactive” response of the peacekeepers had so far prevented the M23 from threatening the capital of North Kivu.