News / Africa

    African Leaders Discuss Sending Troops Into DRC

    A UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC, MONUSCO, armored vehicle drives through Rutshuru, under control of M23 rebels, north of Goma, August 4, 2012.
    A UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC, MONUSCO, armored vehicle drives through Rutshuru, under control of M23 rebels, north of Goma, August 4, 2012.
    KAMPALA — Leaders of Africa's Great Lakes region are meeting in the Ugandan capital to discuss sending an international force into the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  

    The leaders of the eleven countries that make up the African Great Lakes region gathered in Kampala, Uganda today to address the latest crisis in eastern Congo, where the government has been battling rebel groups for years.

    During the meeting, the leaders discussed sending a neutral, international force into eastern Congo to fight a rebel group known as M23. An ethnically Tutsi group of mutineers, M23 has been seizing swaths of territory since April.

    The United Nations claims that the rebels are being supported by neighboring Rwanda. Rwanda denies the charges. But if true, this would not be the first time the country had become involved in a Congolese rebellion. In the 1990s, both Rwanda and Uganda both sent troops into eastern Congo to support rival factions.

    Some have accused Uganda of backing the M23 rebels as well, which the Ugandan government vehemently denies. According to Thierry Vircoulon, the Central Africa project director for the International Crisis Group, there is little evidence to support such an accusation. But, he says, there could be indirect support coming from Uganda, even if it is not from the government itself.

    “There's a lot of allegations circulating around and of course a lot of Congolese think that what's happening now is a repetition of what happened in the '90s when Uganda and Rwanda backed proxies in eastern Congo," says Vircoulon. "However it also very possible that some warlords in eastern Congo still have connections in Uganda and are still using them.”

    Congo’s Information Minister Lambert Mende insists that the messy history of the Great Lakes region makes it impossible for certain countries, such as Uganda and Rwanda, to be part of any neutral force deployed in eastern Congo.+

    “It must go beyond the region,"says Mende. "It is a neutral force, that is to say that neither Congo nor Rwanda can be part of this force, or any other country that can be suspected of not being neutral in this very, very long conflict.”

    But Vircoulon calls the proposal for a neutral force a “diplomatic distraction," adding that the U.N. and African Union are too busy to actually deploy troops to the DRC.  Nor are the Great Lakes countries willing to finance such a force themselves, Vircoulon says.

    “When it comes to the African force that should be deployed they, as usual, turn to the African Union and the U.N. to support it, which basically means that ‘we agree to send such a force, but we need your support financially and logistically’, which is, of course, raising a lot of skepticism,” he says.

    The summit in Kampala follows on the heels of a meeting last week in Khartoum, in which the Great Lakes defense ministers gathered to discuss the proliferation of rebel groups in eastern Congo.

    You May Like

    Video Russia's Expat Community Shrinking

    Russia's troubled economy, tensions with West have led hundreds of thousands of foreigners to leave for better opportunities

    Accelerating the Push Against Islamic State: What Will Work?

    Experts stress need to step up military action, address root causes of Muslims' disaffection, counter IS social media messages in a massive way

    Experts: N. Korean Abductions Sought to Halt Brain Drain

    Pyongyang abducted about 3,800 South Koreans and more than a dozen Japanese nationals in late 1970s

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Jean Kapenda from: USA/DRC
    August 07, 2012 11:02 AM
    I am a Criminology professor in the United States, and any of my CJ 1010 students will easily pinpoint Africa's Great Lakes region main problem: motivated offenders (dictators and their accomplices) + suitable target (Congo's riches) + lack of effective guardianship (international community, local institutions). What is the solution then? Create a Dictatorship-Free Zone (DFZ) . Once leaders are held accountable to their own people and punishment is certain, they will think 100 times before looting the riches of the Congo. Otherwise we would be fueling the Chinese with arguments to engrave a new script in Congolese minds. A bon entendeur, salut!

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.