DR Congo: Former rebel group turns into political party

The Democratic Republic of Congo has agreed to recognise an ex-rebel movement as a political party.

The now defunct M23 is branded the Alliance for the Salvation of People.

According to reports, the party’s registration was certified on Monday through a ministerial order signed by the country’s interior minister.

The M23 took up arms in eastern DR Congo in April 2012. The group at the time was accusing the government of failing to honour previous peace accords and marginalising an ethnic group.

A year later, the rebels were defeated by the Congolese army and a UN brigade. The fighters fled to neighbouring countries Rwanda and Uganda.

Nevertheless, multiple armed groups still operate in the region that has been in conflict for the best part of two decades.

Much of the rebels’ activities consist of abuses against civilians and illegal exploitation of natural resources.