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

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    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.

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora