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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid