Armed conflict continued in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, with Congolese security forces and non-state armed groups responsible for serious abuses against civilians. The Rwandan-backed M23 armed group committed widespread war crimes, including summary executions, rapes, and forced recruitment of children in 2012 and 2013. On November 5, 2013, the M23 announced an end to its armed rebellion. Many of its remaining leaders and fighters fled to Uganda and Rwanda. M23 leader and former Congolese army commander Bosco Ntaganda is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in northeastern Congo in 2002 and 2003. As the military focused attention on defeating the M23, many other armed groups filled the security vacuum. These groups continue to carry out brutal attacks on civilians across eastern Congo. In Kinshasa and elsewhere, government authorities have sought to silence dissent with threats, violence, and arbitrary arrests against human rights activists, journalists, and opposition political party leaders and supporters who were critical of government officials or participated in anti-government demonstrations.

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