News24

Mutineers in east DRC announce new group

2012-05-08 21:41

Kinshasa - Mutinous soldiers linked to an Congolese ex-general wanted by the International Criminal Court say they have formed a new rebel group.

A communique from ex-army officer Vianney Kazarama says the soldiers have regrouped and call themselves the 23 March Movement. They are led by a colonel who was formerly the No 2 in the army under Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted for alleged war crimes.

Until last month, Ntaganda was allowed to live freely in eastern Congo. In a dramatic turnaround, the Congolese army decided to go after him, launching a military offensive on 29 April.

On Saturday, the army announced a five-day cease-fire to give the defectors a chance to return. Army spokesperson Colonel Sylvain Ekenge said on Tuesday that 76 mutinous soldiers had rejoined the military. He called the new group a "farce".