SOUTHERN KIVU, DRC | INNERMAN FM|
The March 23 Movement (M23) has announced the appointment of Corneille Nangaa Yobeluo, former Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) Chairman as the Coordinator of Alliance River (Fleuve) Congo.
Alliance Fleuve Congo is a political-military alliance with M23 and other armed groups claiming to be fighting to restore peace in DR Congo.
In a statement released on Wednesday by M23 president, Bertrand Bisimwa, Nangaa will help in coordinating activities of the alliance in South Kivu province. Bisimwa also argued that M23 is not concerned with recent outcomes of the presidential election results where Felix Tshisekedi secured a second term with a landslide Victory against his main contender Moise Katumbi because it has no legitimacy in areas under M23 control.
Nangaa announced an alliance with M23 rebels on December 15, 2023, while in Nairobi Kenya. He claimed that the alliance currently comprises 17 political parties, two political groupings, and several armed groups. Nangaa, who served as CENI Chairman in 2018 when Tshisekedi won the first presidential election, went into exile in early 2023 while accusing Tshisekedi of failure to restore peace in the east of the country.
On January 1, 2024, Nangaa was cited in Rutshuru territory while in a meeting with M23 President, Bertrand Bisima and Military Commander Emmanuel Sultan Makenga. The alliance created a diplomatic relations rift between Kenya and DR Congo. The DR Congo government accused Kenya of allowing rebels to launch war strategies on its soil.
However, President William Ruto refuted the accusations. The birth of Alliance Fleuve Congo happened at a period when troops serving in North Kivu province under the East African Regional Force had been chased from Congolese soil by the DR Congo government over failure to launch an assault against M23 rebels.
The DR Congo government will deploy troops from countries under the South African Development Community (SADC). After the withdrawal of East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) troops, M23 rebels re-occupied all the positions it had handed over to them.
In March 2022, M23 led by Bertrand Bisimwa and General Sultan Makenga launched a war against the government. The DR Congo government accuses Rwanda of backing M23, but Rwanda and M23 strongly deny it. The rebels claim to fight against bad leadership in DR Congo based on corruption, xenophobia, and discrimination.