U.S. condemns actions of M23 and calls for end to hostilities in DRC

The U.S. condemns the actions of the M23 in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and calls on the rebel group to immediately stop the hostilities, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Marie Harf, the spokesperson of the State Department, made the statement on Monday during her daily press briefing. According to the department, actions by the M23, a Congolese rebel group, resulted in civilian casualties, attacks on U.N. peacekeepers and significant displacement of populations. Harf said the U.S. called on the M23 to disband and the government of Rwanda to stop supporting the group.

"We're deeply concerned about the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in eastern DRC," Harf said. "We call on the M23 to immediately end the hostilities, lay down their arms, and disband in accordance with U.N. Security Council resolution. We are actively reviewing the possibility of additional U.S. sanctions against the M23 leadership and its supporters. We also urgently call on the DRC and Rwandan governments to exercise restraint to prevent military escalation of the conflict or any action that puts civilians at risk."

The statement was not the first time the department called for Rwanda to end its support for the M23. Harf said the department remained concerned about support from the Rwandan government to the military group.

"We remain concerned about credible reports of Rwandan support to M23," Harf said. "We reiterate our call for Rwanda to cease any and all support to the M23 and to respect DRC's territorial integrity, consistent with U.N. Security Council resolutions and its commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework."