DRC: M23 Rebels Take Their Offensive Online

Internet

Rebel military group the M23 movement has made headlines by entering into open conflict with the Congolese army, but it is not stopping at armed conflicts on the ground; the rebels have also gone on the offensive on the Internet and social networks.

They have created a website and a Facebook page where they publish numerous pieces of information on the security situation in the province of North Kivu and about their goals.

The website, M23 Congo RDC, explains the cause that M23 is defending [fr]:

    M23 is demanding complete application of these agreements and began to go underground in April. But the conflict is more complex than that. The spark that ignited the cause was lit by Kinshasa when he decided, under pressure by the international community, to arrest Bosco Ntaganda, an ex-CNDP [National Congress for the Defence of the People militia] and a member of the regular army who had been made a general at the 2009 peace accords.

Reactions on M23’s Facebook page were as follows:

M23’s Facebook page [fr] currently has 754 members and many of them have reacted to the rebel group's media offensive. Many show how disappointed they are with the war currently going on in the eastern part of the DRC; Ayache Andre tells us:

    The Congolese are victims of their hospitality. We should chase out the M23 terrorists with their accomplices. It’s a matter of life and death.


Patient Enzo Kadima writes:

    Since when do we have Congolese Tutsis? Go back home to Rwanda we don’t want you here

Decker Malela responds to an M23 statement:

    ‎@Cokotracy Mirindi: you bloodthirsty people always use the same talk. Self-defense, self-defense….A pretext for revenge and killing the Bantus. As if only you Tutsis should defend yourselves.

The international community continues to pressure Rwanda to stop supporting M23. Another topic of discussion online is the decision of the United States to suspend aid to Rwanda [fr] following their support of M23:

    The US government has decided to suspend its military aid to Rwanda due to the African country’s support of an armed uprising in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) next door. This aid, a sum of US$200,000 (164,000 euros) was intended to sponsor a Rwandan military academy for noncommissioned officers. “The United States government is gravely concerned by the evidence that Rwanda is involved in providing support to Congolese rebels, including M23,” stated Darby Holladay, a spokesperson for the State Department.