In November 2013, the M23 insurrection was defeated in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This, along with the signing of the Nairobi Declarations on 12 December 2013, brought a reprieve after a period of escalation that had displaced hundreds of thousands and had dramatically exacerbated regional tensions. It also appears to be the last of a long series of Rwandan-backed insurgencies in the Congo, beginning in 1996. The aftermath of the M23 crisis, however, leaves many challenges to be addressed.
This paper is part of a larger project of the DRC Affinity Group, which aims to explore options for permanently closing the chapter of insurgency in parts of eastern DRC. It provides historical context for the growth of the armed group, an assessment of the current status of the M23 across the region, and offers a few guidelines and conclusions for their demobilization, repatriation and in some cases arrest and extradition back to DRC.