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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs