News / Africa

UN Warns of ‘External Support’ of DRC Rebels

A soldier from the M23 rebel group looks on as thousands of Congolese people listen during an M23 rally, in Goma, eastern Congo, Nov. 21, 2012A soldier from the M23 rebel group looks on as thousands of Congolese people listen during an M23 rally, in Goma, eastern Congo, Nov. 21, 2012
x
A soldier from the M23 rebel group looks on as thousands of Congolese people listen during an M23 rally, in Goma, eastern Congo, Nov. 21, 2012
A soldier from the M23 rebel group looks on as thousands of Congolese people listen during an M23 rally, in Goma, eastern Congo, Nov. 21, 2012
Margaret Besheer
The U.N.’s top official in the Democratic Republic of Congo has told the U.N. Security Council that rebels are receiving weapons and equipment from outside the DRC.

International concerns are high that the rebels who have entrenched themselves in the DRC’s mineral-rich eastern provinces are receiving assistance from foreign backers.  A U.N. report made public on Wednesday, but leaked weeks ago, accused neighboring Rwanda and Uganda of providing the M23 rebel group with material support.

The U.N.’s top envoy in the DRC, Roger Meece, did not name any country during a video briefing from Congo.  But he laid out some of his concerns and observations.

“The M23 forces are well provisioned, and well supplied with uniforms, and a variety of arms and munitions, many of which clearly have not come from existing FARDC [i.e., Armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo] stocks.  They exhibit many characteristics of a strong, disciplined, established military force with sophisticated tactics and operations, including night operations, which are not characteristic of traditional performance,” Meece said.

Meece said MONUSCO, the 17,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force in the DRC, does not have the mandate or the means to investigate the situation.  He noted other indications of outside support for the M23 rebels.

“We can and have reported our encounters with English-speaking officers, surprising weaponry and equipment being used, and other signs of external support,” Meece said.

French is the official language in the DRC, while English is widely spoken in Rwanda and Uganda.

On Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that opens the door to new sanctions against individuals and entities that support the rebels as well as against rebel commanders.  The sanctions are intended to cut off financing to spoilers, many of whom are linked to the exploitation of the DRC’s mineral wealth through the illicit trade of natural resources.

The council also called for the immediate withdrawal of the M23 from the regional capital, Goma.  Since taking Goma on Tuesday, the rebels have moved into the town of Sake, 25 kilometers to the northwest.

Meece told the council that in addition to their military gains, the rebels have started setting up a formal governing structure in North Kivu and have executed resisting local officials.  But despite these gains on the ground, he noted that the M23 does not have the full support of any ethnic group or community.

Meanwhile, the presidents of the DRC and Rwanda met Wednesday in Kampala under the auspices of the Ugandan president.  U.N. officials say these talks are crucial to ending military operations and moving toward a political track in resolving the conflict.

You May Like

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: David Diambo from: N. Carolina
November 22, 2012 2:54 AM
Don't waste time - You can not ignore and persecute people as you want for decades and think that this will go on for ever. People of Eastern DRC who have suffered at the hands of every administration and army plus the FDRL have now grown to find a solution to their problems. Many Congolese know this truth that their fellow Congolese who speak Kinyarwanda are part of their society. Whoever cut the border on them to leave them on the Congolese territory brought the curse. Resolve that and get peace. DD


by: ME from: HOME
November 21, 2012 4:50 PM
The MONUSCO, UN, Rwanda, Britain and the USA have been supporting this war for over a decade. Who are they kidding? 8 Million people dead yet the rest of the world pretends it is not happening. Why will you journalists do your job properly, name and shame the likes of Bill Clinton for starting this war of minerals in the first place?

In Response

by: David from: Washington DC
November 21, 2012 9:14 PM
Our wealth mineral, & petroleum are transporting or looting to East Africa and South Africa which it creates jobs, build infrastructure, and others opportunities in these zones while Congo stays in starvation, no jobs, no infrastructure…etc. I suggest the WordBank, IMF, the USA..etc helped Congo to build pipe line and rail road from Eastern to Western of Congo in terminal port Banana which it will help Congo to control import & export of minerals, petroleum and gas methane and create jobs for Congolese. Stop over spending on MONUSCO which it is not help us to grow.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid