News / Africa

    DRC Envoy ‘Excited’ About Peace Deal with M23

    Congolese soldiers gather for a military brief after M23 rebel fighters surrendered in Chanzo village in the Rutshuru territory near the eastern town of Goma, Nov. 5, 2013.
    Congolese soldiers gather for a military brief after M23 rebel fighters surrendered in Chanzo village in the Rutshuru territory near the eastern town of Goma, Nov. 5, 2013.
    Peter Clottey
    A top Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) envoy says Congolese are excited about the prospects of peace following reports the government in Kinshasa will sign a peace deal with M23 rebels on Monday.

    Bene M’Poko, DRC’s ambassador to South Africa, says the administration also plans to reinforce security along its borders to protect unarmed civilians from the attacks by other armed groups.  He attributed the country’s conflict to those who want to keep the DRC from benefiting from its vast natural resources.

    “We have had this war,” said M’Poko, “because of people who [want] to loot our resources. They were intent on destabilizing Congo so while we are busy fighting, they are looting [our] resources.”  Resources, he added, that “would benefit the people of Congo, the continent and even the world because as you know the region is rich in rare [earth] minerals, rich in oil rich in tourism and rich in everything.”

    He said Congo’s military should be able to guard the country’s porous borders, which allow armed groups to enter – often at will – from neighboring countries.

    “The Congolese army is matured now. What was lacking was an effective command structure so we have restructured the command structure. So with now a matured Congolese army reorganized, restructured, we are able to protect our borders,” said M’Poko. “[It’s] our duty to protect our borders so nobody will come in to destabilize us again. We are saying enough is enough and we have to take responsibility to protect our people.”

                        Agreement

    Both the DRC government and the rebel M23 say they will sign a peace deal in Uganda’s capital, Kampala Monday following months of negotiations.
     M’Poko outlined its significance.

    “It means a lot to the Congolese people, to the government of Congo and to the Africans and to the international community because everybody has invested so heavily in reaching this peace agreement,” said M’Poko. “We are very excited about it because it is about time we ended that war, that nonsense, so that we can concentrate on the business of developing our region.”

    The pact follows the M23 group’s announcement that they were laying down their arms, after military forces drove them from their remaining strongholds. It also comes after African heads of state and government called for an end in the DRC conflict following their meeting in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria.

    Ambassador M’Poko said the administration in Kinshasa is working with international aid groups including the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) to assist victims who were displaced during the conflict.

    “Since we will be considered a post-conflict country, [it] means that we need to mobilize humanitarian assistance.” said M’Poko.
    Clottey interview with Bene M’Poko, DRC’s ambassador to South Africa
    Clottey interview with Bene M’Poko, DRC’s ambassador to South Africai
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    November 11, 2013 12:53 AM
    A job well done by UN/SADC/DRC. Without force and flushing out the M23-Rwand/Uganda backed rebels completely -nothing could come have come out of the "rebel capital Kampala jokes. Now with a strong UN mandate and strong resolve by DRC and SADC, the warlords have realized that their nefarious ways of plunder and supporting notorious militia will not be rewarding them. Suddenly they support peace , otherwise they could also get kicked out or continue to lose donor support to service their militias. Drones should also be in place and a long term UN/SADC presence at the Uganda/Rwanda borders to keep an eye on the militia that have crossed over and will likely be harbored there for future adventures.

    by: Theodore Ekwaki from: south Africa
    November 10, 2013 3:13 PM
    peace deals is good sign but Congolese government need to focus on fighting human right abuse against women's and also corruption .and security on our border

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora