M23 rebel group says it is not bound by ceasefire between DR Congo and Rwanda

The M23 rebel group active in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo says that it is not bound by a ceasefire deal announced on Wednesday.

M23 spokesman Willy Ngoma told AFP that the deal brokered between the Congolese and Rwandan presidents in Angola on Wednesday was irrelevant.

“We are Congolese, not Rwandan,” he said. “If there’s a ceasefire, it can only be between us and the Congolese government”.

The announcement comes after talks between DR Congo president, Felix Tshisekedi and Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame in Angola on Wednesday raised the prospect of a ceasefire between the M23 and the Congolese government.

Violence between the mostly Congolese Tutsi rebel group and the DR Congo’s army has flared in recent weeks and is ongoing.

The DR Congo has repeatedly accused Rwanda of backing the M23, a charge Rwanda has always denied.

M23 fighters and Congolese troops engaged in fresh clashes in DR Congo’s eastern North Kivu province on Thursday, according to several sources.