M23 rebellion

The M23 rebellion was an armed conflict in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), that occurred between the March 23 Movement and government forces between 4 April 2012 and 7 November 2013. It ended when a peace agreement was made among eleven African nations, and the M23 troops surrendered in Uganda. The rebellion was part of continued fighting in the region after the formal end of the Second Congo War in 2003.

M23 rebellion
Part of the Kivu conflict

UN forces and refugees in Goma during the rebellion
Date4 April 2012 (2012-04-04) – 7 November 2013 (2013-11-07)
(1 year, 7 months and 3 days)

Congolese government victory

  • M23 disarms and demobilises[1]

 Democratic Republic of the Congo
United Nations MONUSCO

March 23 Movement
Alleged support:

Commanders and leaders
Democratic Republic of the Congo Joseph Kabila
Democratic Republic of the Congo Lucien Bahuma[6]
United Nations Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz[6]
United Nations Bansi Ponnappa
United Nations James Aloizi Mwakibolwa[6]
Bertrand Bisimwa
Sultani Makenga (POW)[7]
Bosco Ntaganda (POW)[8][9][10]
United NationsSouth Africa 1,345[2]
United NationsTanzania 1,247[3]
6,000 men (2012)[11]
Casualties and losses

Democratic Republic of the Congo 200 killed[12]
United Nations 3 killed[12]

962 killed[12]
Civilian casualties: 283+ killed[12]
140,000 displaced.[15]

In April 2012, former National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) soldiers mutinied against the DRC government and the peacekeeping contingent of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Mutineers formed a rebel group called the March 23 Movement (M23), also known as the Congolese Revolutionary Army. It was composed of former members of the rebel CNDP, and allegedly sponsored by the government of the neighbouring states of Rwanda and Uganda.

On 20 November 2012, M23 rebels took control of Goma, a North Kivu provincial capital with a population of one million people.[16] By the end of November that year, the conflict had forced more than 140,000 people to flee their homes, according to the U.N. refugee agency, in addition to the refugees already forced from their homes by previous rounds of fighting in the region.[17] After repelling an ill-organized government counterattack and making some further gains, M23 agreed to withdraw from Goma on their own and left the city in early December.

On 24 February 2013, eleven African nations signed an agreement designed to bring peace to the region. In October 2013, Congo told the UN that the M23 movement was virtually finished after being pushed back to a small area near Rwanda. On 7 November 2013, following significant defeats to a UN-backed government offensive, M23 troops crossed into Uganda and surrendered.

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