Oxfam response to M23 announcement of dissolution
Georgette Thomas Oxfam Media officer, Oxford, UK
6th Nov 2013
In response to the announcement of the end of the M23 rebellion by M23 Commander Bertrand Bisimwa, Oxfam's DRC Humanitarian Coordinator Tariq Riebl said:
"M23's promise to end its rebellion signals an important milestone for DRC, but the demise of one group doesn't spell the end of conflict in the country's east. We mustn't lose sight of the fact that there are many other armed groups still operating in this region.
"Now, more than ever, the Congolese government and international community must take steps to ensure that other groups don't move in to fill the space left by the disbanding of M23. All ongoing political negotiations with M23 must be part of a broader strategic approach to address the threats posed by other armed groups if lasting peace is to be achieved.
"To ignore this is to put the people of eastern DRC at further risk. Violence, instability and lack of access to basic services are already a reality for many -failing to address the deeper causes of conflict and the proliferation of armed groups would be a missed opportunity for communities to put the crisis behind them and pick up their lives.
"Communities that Oxfam works with across eastern DRC say they want a lasting response from the government to the threats they face on a daily basis to allow them to live in peace.
"Oxfam stands ready to support communities caught in the crossfire of conflict by helping to provide essential basic services such as access to water and sanitation."
Please note that Tariq Riebl is in Goma and available for interviews - contact via: Georgette Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org / Mob: +44 (0)7824 503108