News / Africa

Congo Government: M23 Ceasefire Offer Not Enough

Congolese armed forces (FARDC) soldiers ride on their pick-up truck as they advance to a new position while battling M23 rebels in Kibati near Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Sept. 2, 2013.Congolese armed forces (FARDC) soldiers ride on their pick-up truck as they advance to a new position while battling M23 rebels in Kibati near Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Sept. 2, 2013.
x
Congolese armed forces (FARDC) soldiers ride on their pick-up truck as they advance to a new position while battling M23 rebels in Kibati near Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Sept. 2, 2013.
Congolese armed forces (FARDC) soldiers ride on their pick-up truck as they advance to a new position while battling M23 rebels in Kibati near Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Sept. 2, 2013.
James Butty
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo said the unilateral ceasefire announced Sunday by the rebel group M23 does not go far enough.

M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa has called on his fighters to lay down their arms and give the peace process, which stalled recently in Kampala, a chance.  

Bisimwa said the Congolese army, known as the FARDC, must stop its advance in the current offensive and also return to the peace talks.  

He said the rebels cannot disarm without a resolution to the concerns for which it began fighting.  

But Congolese Information Minister Lambert Mende said the M23 must end its rebellion and present its fighters to the commission created in Kampala to demobilize them and return them to civilian life.

“It is not a matter of ceasefire.  What we have convened in Kampala, witnessed by the facilitator, as well as the special envoy of the international community, are three things: one, the M23 must announce clearly, not a ceasefire, but the end of the armed rebellion they launched 20 months ago. Secondly, M23 must immediately put all its fighters at the disposal of the commission that was set up in Kampala to demobilize them, to disarm them, and help them to be back to civilian life,” he said.

Mende said the M23 must also agree to respect what he calls the “human rights and physical integrity” of our compatriots near Chanzu.

He said the Congolese government does not want another ceasefire from the M23 because it believes its army, the FARDC, could have defeated the rebels in the next three or four days.

Mende said, instead of humiliating the M23, the Congo government agreed to having the rebels commit themselves to a complete disarmament.

“We are somehow surprised to see that in their statement they are not talking about what had been convened on that issue. They should try to do what they said they were going to do, and we are giving them enough time now,” Mende said.

He said it is the decision of the international community and the Congolese government that the M23 must cease to exist as an armed group and transform itself into a political structure.

Mende said, until the most recent clashes, the M23 was the main threat to peace in eastern Congo and the whole Great Lakes region.  He said the government decided to first wipe out the M23 before going after other rebel groups.

“We have other Congolese armed groups.  They have to be destroyed, all of them.  But, we decided to start with the most dangerous, that was M23. As soon as we finish them, as soon as they accept to disarm, to demobilize, to become a political group, we shall deal with FDLR, ADF-NALU and others.  That is the program of the DRC and allies from the international community,” Mende said.

Bisimwa said his group will disarm after they sign an agreement with the Congolese government addressing the concerns for which the group began its rebellion.

“The problem of disarming ourselves will be done after we sign the agreement, and now we are negotiating that agreement.  We can’t disarm ourselves without an agreement because we have to know what will happen to the problems which are the causes of the existence of movement,” he said.

He said the M23 launched its rebellion more than a year ago to, among other things, provide security for the people of eastern Congo.

“As you know, in the eastern part of Congo, there are many, many foreign groups who are killing and raping and we can’t continue to accept this. Secondly, you know we have many refugees outside in Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and in Tanzania.  We want those Congolese to be accepted as citizens of this country,” he said.

Bisimwa also said the people of eastern Congo have suffered for so long, and the M23 wants to give them an opportunity find jobs, build hospitals, roads, and schools.

The M23 had said it wanted its fighters to be granted amnesty.  But, the Congolese government says it does not give amnesty to people who indiscriminately kill innocent civilians.
Butty interview with M23 leader Bisimwa
Butty interview with M23 leader Bisimwai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Bisimwa said the M23 is not involved in the killing of innocent people.  He accused the Congolese government engaging in propaganda against the M23.

“We agree with the government of Kinshasa that we cannot give amnesty to people who kill other people.  But, what about us?  We didn’t kill anybody.  And, you know, the government of Kinshasa used propaganda to show that the M23 doesn’t have any plan,” Bisimwa said.
Butty interview with Lambert Mende
Butty interview with Lambert Mendei
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Benjamin Likute Bauma from: South Africa
November 04, 2013 6:26 AM
M23 which the new name of CNDD his the creation or a product of Rwandese president Paul Kagame. It is a secret known by all that the so - called rebellion is in fact a group made Rwandese soldiers used by Kagame to plunder congolese minerals in the east Congo. Rwanda is using this opportunity to transplant his people to Congo by claiming that they are congolese refugees of tutsi origine.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid