A leader of the M23 rebel group that has been battling the Congo government for almost two years said Tuesday that the group is ending its fight after the Congolese military seized its last strongholds.
The group will stop fighting but will continue to pursue its goals through the political system, M23 President Bertrand Bisimwa said in a statement, the Associated Press reports. He instructed the rebels to disarm and prepare to re-enter society on the Congolese government’s terms. The Congolese government declared victory over the rebels.
The group is made up mostly of ethnic Tutsis, and experts warn that other Tutsi rebel groups could emerge in wake of their defeat. United Nations officials confirm widespread reports that the M23 group was being aided and funded by the president of neighboring Rwanda, who is a Tutsi, but the Rwandan government denies the allegations.
U.S. Envoy to the Congo Russ Feingold called M23′s announcement a “step in the right direction.”