Rebels from the March 23 Movement, M23 have announced a retreat from villages captured in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo following clashes with government troops in the Rutshuru region.

Rebels from the March 23 Movement, M23 have announced a retreat from villages captured in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo following clashes with government troops in the Rutshuru region.

Sources said fighting between the rebels and soldiers flared up Wednesday after many days of calm, and rebels from the M23 took control of around a dozen villages in Rutshuru territory in North Kivu province.

The group in a statement stated that they took the “decision to withdraw, once more, from its newly-won positions to allow for its concerns to be addressed through open and fruitful dialogue with the government” of Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It added that the M23 never had the intention to capture areas to run them, our only motivation is the peaceful resolution of the crisis. But it was not confirmed whether the withdrawal from around a dozen villages had taken place.

The Rebels also said it intended to hand over all soldiers from the national army captured on the frontline to the International Committee of the Red Cross for proper care.