Congo rebel group, M23, splits over dismissal of president

The spokesperson of the M23 rebel movement in eastern Congo says the president of the group has been dismissed for allegedly supporting Bosco Ntaganda, a wanted war criminal.

Bertrand Bisimwa said Thursday that Gen. Sultani Makenga, the military leader of the M23, fired Jean-Marie Runiga as the president of the rebel group, charging that Runiga had been supporting Ntaganda, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

The move has split the M23, as a new group has formed by those who still support Runiga, including Gen. Baudoin Ngaruye, the number two man in the rebel force.

The M23, a rebel group allegedly backed by Rwanda, took the strategic city of Goma in November 2012, but withdrew to begin negotiations with the Congolese government in December.