News / Africa

DRC Refutes M23 Charges of Divisiveness, Rights Violations

Congolese Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda at peace talks with M23 rebels, Kampala, Uganda, Dec. 9, 2012.
Congolese Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda at peace talks with M23 rebels, Kampala, Uganda, Dec. 9, 2012.
Andrew Green
The Democratic Republic of Congo delegation on Tuesday denied M23 rebel group’s opening allegations that the government had fueled unrest in the eastern part of the country.

On the third day of peace talks in Kampala, the delegation also accused the rebel group of human rights violations.

Congolese delegation sits opposite row of empty seats intended for delegation of M23 rebels, Kampala, Uganda, Dec. 10, 2012.Congolese delegation sits opposite row of empty seats intended for delegation of M23 rebels, Kampala, Uganda, Dec. 10, 2012.
x
Congolese delegation sits opposite row of empty seats intended for delegation of M23 rebels, Kampala, Uganda, Dec. 10, 2012.
Congolese delegation sits opposite row of empty seats intended for delegation of M23 rebels, Kampala, Uganda, Dec. 10, 2012.
A day after failing to show up for Monday peace talks, M23 delegates finally listened to the Congolese government’s response to the rebel group’s opening statement, which included wide-ranging accusations that described the conflict as the result of bad governance, in which DRC officials divided communities and violated basic human rights.

“When President [Joseph] Kabila came into power in 2010, we were dealing with a very serious problem," said Congolese Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda as he denied the claims. "Some of our citizens have been sidelined and they were stigmatized. He worked to bring back everybody together.

“It’s a bit strange for the people who are known to be the main violators of human rights to claim that they want to establish human rights in our country," he continued, referring to M23's opening claim that re-establishing human rights in the region was one of the rebel army's key objectives. "When you look at what they’ve done during the short time they’ve been running some portions of the North Kivu, how many women have been sexually abused by M23 soldiers?”

In calling for M23 to be disbanded, Tshibanda also refuted allegations that the Congolese government had subverted a 2009 peace agreement between the government and the National Congress for the Defense of the People [CNDP], an earlier rebel group. Some members of the CNDP formed the M23 earlier this year.

The Congolese government was set to deliver its response yesterday, but representatives from M23 failed to attend the meeting. They did not offer an official reply to Tshibanda’s statement Tuesday.

Despite the tensions, Uganda Defense Minister Crispus Kiyonga, who is mediating the talks, said both sides have emphasized reaching a negotiation to end the months-long conflict in eastern Congo.

“I would like once again to reiterate what both M23 and also the government side have said," Kiyonga announced. "We are here in Kampala to find peace for our people in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.”

The conference is now preparing to set the terms of negotiations for the remainder of the talks.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: lominyo jeremiah from: Juba
December 13, 2012 5:13 AM
Kiyonga i congragulate you in your last announcement regarding the progress of the peace talks of DRC and M23 which is under your mediation.use all your talents to make a success.this the time toregister yourself in to a regional history as a peace maker.Eastern Kongo has been turned in to a volatile region.

by: g from: new york
December 12, 2012 11:50 AM
M23 for human rights? What an oxymoron? Why congolese women in Goma were raped adn those who opposed them killed,etc. M23 defending human righst is frankly absurd. Kagame, game over, this time the world will not fall into your tactics, you can not control North Kivu by force, rather work on commerce treaties with DRC as civilized nations work with each other.

by: ramaramazani from: pretoria
December 12, 2012 10:32 AM
They will listen because they are well informed sadc is on the way.
Their crazy Kagame will istruct them......lol....crazy....

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs