News / Africa

African Leaders Demand Rebels Leave Goma

Congolese M23 rebel soldiers are seen on the road to Rushura, some 25 kilometers north of Goma, Nov. 22, 2012.
Congolese M23 rebel soldiers are seen on the road to Rushura, some 25 kilometers north of Goma, Nov. 22, 2012.
Andrew Green
— A meeting of central and east African leaders has ended with calls for the M23 rebel forces to immediately stop fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The announcement followed a meeting of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region - a bloc of east and central African countries - in Kampala. The extraordinary meeting was organized after M23 rebels took the key eastern Congolese city of Goma earlier this week.

The summit, attended by the presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, the DRC and Uganda and officials from seven other countries, called for the rebels to end their threats to overthrow the Congolese government. The regional leaders told the rebels to immediately withdraw at least 20 kilometers north of Goma so Congolese troops and police officers could regain control of the city.

Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kutesa read the 10-point declaration, which also emphasized the Congolese government’s role in ending the conflict.

“The Democratic Republic of Congo government to listen, evaluate and resolve the legitimate grievances of M23, including the work already done by the organization,” said Kutesa.


  • Shops closed in Sake a day after M23 rebels took control of the town following overnight battles with the Congolese army, DRC, November 23, 2012. (G. Joselow/VOA)
  • Fighting has displaced tens of thousands of people from the town of Sake, west of Goma, DRC, November 23, 2011. (G. Joselow/VOA)
  • With IDP camps filling up since the rebellion in eastern Congo began in April, newly displaced people are sleeping in churches until they can find a place to settle, DRC, November 23, 2012. (G. Joselow/VOA)
  • Displaced people from the town of Sake gather at the Mugunga camp on the road to Goma, DRC, November 23, 2012. (G. Joselow.VOA)
  • Families flee fighting between the Congolese army and M23 rebels in the town of Sake, DRC, November 23, 2012. G. Joselow/VOA)

The regional body also called for a composite force of neutral troops and soldiers of the Congolese government and M23 to be stationed at Goma’s airport. An earlier meeting of the conference had recommended a neutral regional force be deployed in eastern Congo, but the latest meeting did not clarify which countries would provide troops.

The conference’s plan echoed a message issued by the presidents of Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC after a two-day meeting earlier this week. The M23 rebels have reportedly rejected the previous call to end their campaign, instead demanding peace talks with Congolese President Joseph Kabila.

But Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo, who was standing in for President Paul Kagame, says the latest meeting was an important reinforcement.

“We expect the M23, as well as the government of the DRC, to abide by the deal that has been brokered by this organization,” said Mushikiwabo.

The chiefs of Uganda’s defense forces will lead the execution of the plan, with supervision from Rwandan and Congolese military officials.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid