The BBC is reporting that the M23 rebels are “all but finished” as a military threat.  The Congo army has successfully pushed them out into a small area bordering Rwanda after the rebel group had abandoned the remaining towns they had held.  The most important town, Rumangabo, was the location of a large Congo army base before the M23 rebels occupied it.

Jason Stearns at the blog Congo Siasa had correctly predicted this would happen imminently.   The Kampala peace talks were floundering over the key issue of what to do with the leadership of the M23.  The previous peace accord, signed on March 23 and hence the name of the rebels, included provisions to integrate Tutsi rebels within the regular Congo army.  Amid claims that Congo was not honouring the terms of the March 23 agreement, these rebels formed the M23.  Jason Stearn noted that it may be the time for a military push by the UN in order to force a final agreement.  True enough, today the French ambassador was calling for the M23 to return to the bargaining table.

Notably, the news of military collapse of the M23 focused on the rare victory of Congo army and did not include credit to the UN intervention force.

This could prove to be a major turning point that will restore peace to the area north of Goma.  Unfortunately, troubles south of Bunia near Nyankunde hospital have recently increased due to unrelated rebel Muslims seeking shelter from Uganda.