The peace deal that was to be signed Monday by the Democratic Republic of Congo and defeated M23 rebels has been postponed after the former’s delegation said it wanted to revisit the deal before signing.
After months of delays, the peace agreement appeared to be the most realistic option for the rebels after they were beaten and forced out of their positions by a combined force from the DRC army and the United Nations Intervention Brigade.
However, information coming in from State House Entebbe where the deal was to be signed indicates that the DRC government appears to have asked for more time to study the details of the deal.
Uganda government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo confirmed this latest development.
“DRC delegation has aborted the signing of agreement with M23. Meeting adjourned sine dine” Ofwono Opondo tweeted via @OfwonoOpondo.
“For some reason the DRC govt did not enter the signing room but sent their ambassador to pick the agreement for review” he added.
US, UN, AU, UK, France, Belgium and Norway observers were all present to witness the now aborted agreement.
Rwanda that has been accused by the UN of backing the defeated rebels was represented by Amb. Gen Frank Mugambagye.
According to Opondo, President Museveni flew from Karamoja to host and witness the signing of the agreement but was kept waiting for over 4 hours.
The rebels, who accuse Kinshasa of reneging on an earlier deal with another movement of ethnic Tutsis, gave up their insurrection last week after the army backed by a U.N. force routed them from their hideouts. The rebel leaders later announced a ceasefire and asked their fighters to prepare for disarmament.
The M23 military commander, Brigadier Sultani Makenga, is among thousands of fighters currently in Uganda after the fled the heavy fighting. Uganda has been trying with international support to mediate an end to the fighting.