News / Africa

    African Leaders Grapple with Fighting in Eastern Congo

    African Leaders Grapple With Fighting in Eastern Congoi
    X
    September 26, 2013 1:06 PM
    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says rebels in Eastern Congo are carrying out "appalling" attacks against civilians. African heads of state met at the United Nations to discuss the conflict, which the United States says Rwanda is fueling by backing those rebels. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said rebels in Eastern Congo are carrying out "appalling" attacks against civilians. African heads of state met at the United Nations to discuss the conflict, which the United States said Rwanda is fueling by backing those rebels.

    Fighters from Congo's M23 rebellion are the biggest challenge to government troops and U.N. peacekeepers in the eastern Kivu provinces.

    Ban Ki-moon said earlier this week that rebel attacks include violence against women and children.

    "The extent of violence and human suffering in eastern DRC is overwhelming. I deplore the recent military activities of the M23 and the other armed groups in eastern DRC," he said.

    African leaders meeting at the United Nations are backing peace talks in Uganda.

    But the talks are complicated by persistent reports of Rwandan support for the rebels.

    "We reiterate our call for Rwanda to cease any and all support to the M23 and to respect DRC’s territorial integrity, consistent with U.N. Security Council resolutions," said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

    Publicly accusing a U.S. ally of backing M23 rebels is a bold move for the Obama administration, said Sarah Margon at Human Rights Watch.

    "They've told the Rwandans we're putting you on notice," she said. "But what next? And so if the Rwandans don't stop, what will the U.S. be willing to do?"

    Rwandan President Paul Kagame denies involvement and says the international community shouldn't focus on M23 rebels when there are so many other groups contributing to instability in Eastern Congo.

    The peace talks in Kampala have focused on other armed groups as well.

    In an interview with VOA, U.S. Special Envoy Russ Feingold said that is the only way forward.

    "Whatever happens with the Kampala talks, the framework and the peace process involving the countries in the region goes on and will deal with the root and fundamental problems, not just the issue of M23," he said.

    But the immediate goal of stopping the fighting is still about M23, says Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa.

    "M23 should put an end to all military activities and stop war and threats of overthrowing the lawful government of the DRC," he said.

    President Joseph Kabila's troops are moving to re-establish central authority over eastern Congo. But Margon says it's a challenge.  

    "Without Rwanda ceasing to provide support for the M23, many of the other elements whether it be the upcoming elections in Congo, Congo's extension of governing authority in the east, regional development are not going to be able to happen," said Margon.

    Rebels were integrated into Congo's military under an earlier attempt at reconciliation. This time around, Congolese officials say the worst of the M23 leaders will not be granted amnesty in a new peace deal.

    You May Like

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Nielsen's, Sina Weibo Team Up for Closer Look at Chinese Social Media

    US-based rating agency reaches deal with China's Twitter-like service to gauge marketing effectiveness on platform which has more than 200 million users

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: getout from: Rutshuru
    September 26, 2013 11:14 AM
    What to do next for Rwanda, cut off any aid to Rwanda and let the FARDC and the UN force fight M23 and the Rwanda Army all the way to Kigali if needed apparently when the US a Rwanda ally tells Kagame to stop supporting the M23 and he keeps denying his involvement he has lost it. Kagame will most likely end the way of Mugabe, a forgotten here with human rights abuses hanging on his front, regardless of what the Clintonites, Tony Blair, The Milken Institute or the Rwanda lobby thinks. Kagame has not been a hero for Rwanda or the great lakes region, he has become a symbol of instability and human rights abuses in the region.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora