The M23 rebels appear to be defeated, as they are held and contained by Ugandan authorities and unable to cause trouble.  The final peace talks were about to be signed off and concluded when Congo refused to sign the final “agreement” (accord in French), claiming that as complete victors there shouldn’t be an “agreement” but a “declaration”.  The M23 see no reason to amend the title of the deal.  While it looks like a stalemate, it’s really just time to move on.

And move on we have.  Today the UN “peacekeeping troops” announced they have launched an offensive against the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) along the border of Congo and Rwanda.  While the M23 rebels are Tutsi with a background of Rwanda government support, the FDLR insurgents are Hutu and anti-Kigali.  They are remnants of the Hutu who inspired the Rwandan genocide and have historically been the pretext for Rwandan intervention in Congo.  It will be good to see them go.

The UN force of offensive minded troops is made up of soldiers from South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi.  The Congolese army claimed most of the credit for defeating the M23 but the UN played a major support role.  The Congo army defeat of the M23 was their first military victory ever so Kabila and the nation are quite proud about it.  For a change, these UN soldiers in theory have come to fight, so the results will be interesting to watch.

Another thing to watch will be the efforts to expel the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) from the area between Beni and Bunia towards the Ugandan border.  The ADF is made up of Ugandan opposition forces and is supported by Sudan (which historically has fought Uganda).  Congo also claims that this misnamed puritanical Muslim group has support from Al-Shabaab fighters from Somalia.