The Democratic Republic of Congo government and the M23 rebel movement refused to sign the highly-anticipated peace deal in Entebbe on Monday because of a disagreement over wording.

Following on-and-off dialogue in Kampala over the last couple of months, the M23 who were decisively defeated last week had been expected to sign a peace agreement with the Congolese government at State House in Entebbe on Monday, but the signing didn’t materialise.

Addressing the media afterwards, Bertrand Bisimwa, the leader of the M23 rebel movement, said only a political solution would bring peace to DR Congo.

Bisimwa’s comments came after Kinshasa, represented by its Foreign Affairs minister, Raymond Tshibanda, insisted that it would sign a “declaration” and not a peace agreement as M23 were militarily defeated.

But Bisimwa said it was wrong for the DRC government to insist on a military victory over M23, arguing that if that was the spirit, then there is no need to sign any agreement.

“As you know, we agreed with the government on November 4 that the document…is an agreement, and the government would like to change it to a declaration, and we didn’t agree to that,” he told Voice of America.

Although its military leader, Sultani Makenga, recently surrendered to the Ugandan army, UPDF, the M23 now claim they were not defeated as such but, rather, agreed to a ceasefire on November 4 in the interest of peace.

“We stopped our rebellion. We made a declaration about it and we can’t come back again on it. I think now we are ready to continue toward a political solution because we decided to resolve our problems by the political way and not the military way,” Bisimwa said.

Unlike Bisimwa, Foreign Affairs minister Tshibanda declined to speak to the media after the failed event.

Drama at Entebbe

The signing ceremony had been scheduled for 4pm, with President Museveni to preside. Bisimwa was on hand for the M23, while Tshibanda represented Kinshasa.

According to a statement from the Uganda Media Centre, the Kinshasa delegation declined to enter the conference room where the signing ceremony was to be conducted.

Our sources indicate that Tshibanda insisted on the wording of the document changing from a peace agreement to a declaration of peace. Uganda’s Defence minister Dr Crispus Kiyonga, the facilitator, took Tshibanda’s position to the M23 delegation but the latter rejected it.

Then the Kinshasa delegation asked Kiyonga for, and was given the document that was set to be signed, saying they wanted to study it further. As the bargaining continued, President Museveni abandoned the event, leaving it in the hands of Vice President Edward Sekandi.

The Media Centre statement signed by its Executive Director Ofwono Opondo says Ssekandi was given instructions to wait until a deal was in place. With no end in sight, Ssekandi at 9:30pm called off the signing ceremony indefinitely.

He announced that both delegations would remain in contact with Dr Kiyonga, the facilitator, who would advise on a new date for the signing ceremony. Envoys from the United Nations, African Union, Europe and the United States expressed their disappointment in a statement to the foreign media.

The statement noted that “the two sides had not expressed any differences on substantive points within the draft document”.

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+8 #1 sn 2013-11-13 06:09
What is the history of peace negotiations involving the NRM (NRA)?
What is the history, genesis and evolution of M23?
What is the reason that M23 retreated to Uganda and not Rwanda where they came from and whose proxy war they have been fighting?
Where were M23 fighters trained and why?

What is the ultimate objective of M23?
How was M23 defeated?
What is the role of NRM (NRA)in fighting in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC?

What are the linkages between NRA, RPA, UPDF, Nkunda, Lubanga, Ntaganda and M23?
Where did Paul Kagame and Joseph Kabila grow up?
What is the common factor in present day leadership in Kampala, Kigali and Kinshasa?

So an agreement or declaration for whose benefit and interest?
Who does the overall pulling of strings in DRC?
Why is the world so blind or insensitive?
Where is logic or reason?
Who must win or who should win in DRC and who is the determining authority?
+6 #2 Sadokus Sadat 2013-11-13 08:11
The Congolese government was right to sign the agreement. How can a suspect mediate in a talk? International community should watch out Uganda's seeming interest in Congo affairs.
+7 #3 Lakwena 2013-11-13 14:17
Joseph Kabila and Kinshasa administration will be the father of all fools if he signs any agreement with or without the M23.

Otherwise what is the relevance of signing an agreement with and vanquished enemy? Joseph Kabila should forget about talking to criminals and focuses on strengthening and bolster security in the Eastern borders with the 2 rouge states Rwanda and Uganda.

If Kabila has a short memory, may I remind him that the M23 godfathers NRA (M7) and RPF (Kagame) tactics are that when they are weak they want to talk and sign agreements. But it is delaying tactics, in order regroup and stockpile arms and munitions.

Kabila should not forget the 1994 Arusha peace Summit that disoriented Habyarimana and got him blown sky high; the 1985 Nairobi Peace Joke agreement that disoriented Gen Tito Okello Lutwa's into losing power in 1986.
+1 #4 ricardo nyanza 2013-11-13 15:15
I blame the reporter for the observer. How can you write " the M23 who were decisively defeated" as if it was a game of mweeso.
+3 #5 wodgot 2013-11-13 19:19
some of these mediators were directly involved in the 1986 Nairobi failed peace talks. Kabila is not a fool
+3 #6 beebwa 2013-11-13 20:25
I congratulate President Kabila for exposing and publicly embarrassing dictators Museveni and Kagame. He has exposed them very badly.

I wish he could hand the list of M23 criminals to the ICC, then we`ll see if Museveni and Kagame will refuse to execute international warrants of arrest from ICC
+3 #7 Akot 2013-11-13 21:53
This is not serious! Why sign-discuss peace with defeated rebells who lay down arms & should be in custody until they are cleared of war crimes!

Wemen-girls were raped-dishonour ed by these thugs & we are told peace can be negotiated with them at a time when they are armless!

Museveni's band entered Uganda & infected thousands with HIV & they were not brought to answer fot this crime!
We also remember that peace talks in Nairobi ended the moment Museveni stormed & took over the country while keeping Tito Okello occupied in Nairobi!

The 3 Rwandese in control of Uganda-DRCongo- Rwanda are playing with everyone while making sure they stay in control in the 3 countries!
Oh Ugandans, you better wake up from slumber & get back your country!
+3 #8 Akot 2013-11-13 22:05
At this point though, it appears that the 3 Rwandese are not playing with Ugandans-Congol ese alone, they are also mocking the UN peace keeping force in the region!

Tanzania & Kenya leadership must not stay quiet because after confusing Ugandans & Congolese, Rwandese will turn on them! Rwandese need more & more land!

With the tribal divisive way Museveni rules Uganda, it's impossible for Ugandans to defend their land as one people: slowly but surely, Rwandese are taking over!
Where will Ugandans take refuge?

If only Ugandans could be wise enough to see tribal-regional division is not taking them any where but ensures Museveni's continuity!
+3 #9 Betty Long Cap 2013-11-14 03:44
Quoting Lakwena:
...M23 godfathers NRA (M7) and RPF (Kagame) tactics are that when they are weak they want to talk and sign agreements. But it is delaying tactics, in order regroup and stockpile arms and munitions.

Total agreement, Lakwena. The dispute over peace accord, declaration, agreement is not about semantics but a stalling tactic until the wild card in the mix goes home and fighting can be resumed.

The United Nations Peacekeepers changed military tactics only slightly since 1994 when the Security Council's primary objective was to protect soldiers not civilians in Rwanda. Congo intervention is not that different.

Museveni and Kagame are not diplomats; they are grandiose dictators with a determination to mine Congolese minerals.

He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 5:10
+1 #10 Betty Long Cap 2013-11-14 09:19
Quoting Akot:
At this point though, it appears that the 3 Rwandese are not playing with Ugandans-Congolese alone, they are also mocking the UN peace keeping force in the region!

Well said, Akot. UN Peacekeepers are not in for the long haul; the three Rwandese are.
0 #11 ul 2013-11-14 11:40
Is this rebl outfit Congolese or actuallu Ugandan Lengela embaata
+1 #12 Akot 2013-11-14 18:15
Betty Long Cap, I wanted to give "Mia Farrow" - American actress-UNICEF Good Will Ambassador-Huma n Activists, a warm embrace when she talked on Central African Republic issue on BBC yesterday!
Mia Farrow said "Absence of governance in CAR makes any thing possible-happen"

She also said, as I did a few weeks ago, that all should take advantage of presence of UN peace keeping force in the region to establish-impos e a working administration!

Coming from some one of her standing, I hope the UN & W.Democratic leaders will start tackling the war zone issue with concrete measures that will bring an end to sensless wars that should never have started at all!

All measures taken till now only bolsters dictators' positions while shattering the over 80% poor in the region!
Int. community is complice of dictators-loote rs committing genocide-dividi ng the people tribally!
This is not teaching us democracy!
0 #13 Akot 2013-11-14 18:25
Kony, it's high time you give Acholi chance to start re-building their lives-land-N.Ug anda which will be the only way the tribe can re-join the rest of the country!

You must surrender to UN peace keeping force in the region!
Kony, you know, you can't get away with what you have done, whether to Acholi-Sudan-Co ngo-Central African Republic or elsewhere!

Being a man, as you should know, means taking your responsibilitie s - the late Oketayot would tell you the same thing!
0 #14 Betty Long Cap 2013-11-14 19:03
Quoting Akot:
All measures taken till now only bolsters dictators' positions while shattering the over 80% poor in the region!
Int. community is complice of dictators-looters committing genocide-dividing the people tribally!
This is not teaching us democracy!

Good comment about Mia Farrow, Akot. I do not admire many celebrities but give Mia Farrow credit where credit is due: she is a true, unselfish humanitarian.

Dictatorship and democracy are incompatible. A dictator's modus operandi is rigged elections with only the illusion of democracy, censorship, banning public meetings of more than three people, paternalism, corruption, and genocide.

My late, ex-father-in-la w spoke for every dictator when he said if he had been Stalin, he would have killed more peasants. Dictators have no regard for human life outside their immediate circle.

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