These troops, engaged in a peace-restoration mission in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), announced their withdrawal, commencing on December 2, 2023, from North Kivu Province and returning to their respective countries. The DRC had set a deadline of December 8, 2023, for the forces to exit its territory.
On December 3, 2023, M23 spokesperson Lawrence Kanyuka conveyed in a statement that once the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) left the DRC, M23 would reclaim and retain all areas previously relinquished during peace talks, emphasizing this move as essential for the welfare of the civilian population.
A released statement from the EACRF revealed the absence of security in North Kivu, attributed to the resurged conflict since October 2023, compelling numerous residents to evacuate their homes.
Kanyuka reported ongoing attacks on M23 bases by a coalition of government forces, FARDC, and armed groups, including the FDLR implicated in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Despite these challenges, M23 affirmed its commitment to preserving security and safeguarding civilian lives.