News / Africa

International Force Could Deploy Soon in Eastern DRC

M23 rebels army keep security during a press conference at Bunagana, January 3, 2013M23 rebels army keep security during a press conference at Bunagana, January 3, 2013
x
M23 rebels army keep security during a press conference at Bunagana, January 3, 2013
M23 rebels army keep security during a press conference at Bunagana, January 3, 2013
A neutral international force could be deployed within the coming weeks in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Discussions about the force developed after rebel group M23 declared a unilateral ceasefire.

African ministers and international partners met on Tuesday at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa to discuss the best means to establish and deploy the force in the eastern DRC.

The Congolese rebels declared a unilateral ceasefire Tuesday ahead of the second round of peace talks in Uganda.
 
AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra says the force, known as the NIF, could be deployed within the coming weeks.

“We were informed that perhaps the commanding staff, the commanding officers, would be deployed in the next few weeks.  Tanzania is contributing a battalion, and the general [who] will be the commanding officer is likely to come from Tanzania as well.  SADC has mentioned that it is considering mobilizing its standby brigade,” Lamamra said.
 
Ministers of foreign affairs and defense from the Great Lakes region were present at the meeting where the mandate, size, funding and other issues relating to the international force were discussed.  If the force becomes part of the already present United Nations force MONUSCO, the United Nations will most likely fund the deployment.
 
Commissioner Lamamra says the force will probably consist of one brigade.

“We are still working on the assumption that the NIF will be comprised of 4,000 troops. It is called a brigade. But more importantly we focused also on, what our generals call enablers and force-multipliers, that is helicopters, engineering units, things of that sort that make a difference in terms of efficiency on the ground,” Lamamra said.
 
The M23 rebels' ceasefire announcement Tuesday comes a week after the U.N. Security Council sanctioned the group and two of its leaders.
 
M23 rebels captured several cities in DRC in mid-November after grievances that the government did not implement the 2009 peace agreements to integrate the rebels into the Congolese army.  The fighting has caused a humanitarian crisis and displaced over 800,000 people.
 
The eastern DRC is rich in minerals and has been mired in conflict for years, as various armed groups seek to exploit the mines for profit.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid