M23 Rebel Movement Hands Over Captured DR Congo Soldiers To Red Cross

Red Cross says the M23 rebel group has handed over the three FARDC soldiers captured by the group as it previously promised, and they have returned to serving DR Congo.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it received three soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Congo national army that were captured by rebels of the March 23 (M23) movement and facilitated their return to the ranks of the country’s armed forces, FARDC.

“In situations of armed confrontation, the ICRC offers its services as a neutral intermediary between the actors involved,” Rachel Bernard, head of the ICRC delegation in DR Congo announced on Thursday, April 14.

The M23 had through the social media account of its leader, Bertrand Bisimwa, presented three persons in military outfits identified as DR Congo soldiers that were captured.

These persons spoke of living and working conditions within the DR Congo army and affirmed that they were former combatants of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (DFLR) who had been recruited to fight alongside the FARDC.

The M23 rebel group had also expressed its intention to hand the three individuals, which it said they captured at the war front, to the International Committee of the Red Cross, a promise they have now fulfilled.

The rebel movement continues to insist that it has never had the intention of conquering territory to administer and announced on April 10, 2022, its decision to “withdraw, once again, from its defensive positions it held before April 6, 2022”.

The decision,  it said, was to “permit the taking into consideration its preoccupations through frank and fruitful dialogue with the government”.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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