DRC: M23 president sacked
The President of M23 rebel movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been sacked following disagreement between him and the head of the military wing, Brig. Sultan Makenga.
A statement issued by the M23 High Command and signed by Brig. Makenga, said Mr Luniga was sacked over alleged misuse of funds and ethnic hatred.
“Charges have been brought against Mr Runiga including financial embezzlement, divisions, ethnic hatred, deceit and political immaturity,” the statement said.
The M23 spokesperson, Mr Bertrand Bisimwa told Daily Monitor Thursday that Brig. Makenga would act as president until a substantive president is appointed.
The March 23 Movement often abbreviated as M 23, is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the country mainly operating in the province of North Kivu. The group has been involved in an armed conflict with the DR Congo government which has led to the displacement of large numbers of people. On 20 November 2012, M23 took control of Goma, a provincial capital with a population of one million people. They later withdrew from the city as part of peace negotiations spearheaded by regional leaders to end the conflict.
The group was formed on 4 April 2012 when nearly 300 soldiers, a majority of them former members of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), turned against the DR Congo government, citing poor conditions in the army and the government’s unwillingness to implement the 23 March 2009 peace deal.
The rebel outfit is made up primarily of Tutsis and opposes the Hutu Power militia Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) as well as area Mai-Mai (community militias).