News / Africa

Congolese, Rwandan Envoys Trade Sharp Words at UN

FILE - Rwandan Ambassador Eugene Gasana
FILE - Rwandan Ambassador Eugene Gasana
TEXT SIZE - +
Margaret Besheer
— The ambassadors of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo exchanged unusually sharp words Thursday during a U.N. Security Council meeting on their countries' alleged support for rebel groups. 

The 15-nation council unanimously renewed sanctions against individuals and armed groups accused of ignoring measures to ease violence in the eastern Congo. It also extended the mandate of the U.N. Group of Experts on the DRC.

The experts' report on eastern Congo led to Thursday's angry outburst between the envoys. Rwanda, a member of the Security Council, had objected to it and did not want it published.

Among its findings, the experts said they had “credible information” that leaders of Congo's M23 rebel group - despite its defeat at the end of 2013 - “were moving freely in Uganda and that M23 continued to recruit in Rwanda.”

The report also said the rebels received support from within Rwanda, including troops and ammunition.

Rwandan Ambassador Eugene Gasana denounced the report in his remarks to the council.

“We rejected this report, which lacks objectivity, which lacks transparency, material evidence and credible sources," he said. "We deplore the flawed methodology used by an unaccountable and unprofessional Group of Experts, allowing itself the right to accuse the whole nation without any single evidence.”

In his remarks, Congolese Ambassador Ignace Gata Mavita said the panel's report highlighted the patterns of Rwanda and Uganda, who he said persist in destabilizing the eastern part of the DRC.

He said the experts’ report also documented numerous Rwandan army incursions into the DRC, which he said constituted “an act of aggression.” 

“This is a flagrant violation of the U.N. Charter; flouting the principles of peaceful co-existence, international humanitarian law, the rules for the protection of human rights and the imperative standards of international law,” said Mavita.

The experts' report also said Congo's military had given some cooperation and weapons to a Congo-based Rwandan Hutu rebel group, the FDLR.

Congo's ambassador said his government would like specific information regarding this allegation but said Rwanda used the FDLR's existence as an excuse to interfere.

“My government is aware that the matter of the FDLR is one of the most frequently used pretexts by Rwanda to destabilize the DRC," he said. "We wish to reassure the Security Council that the settlement of this issue remains a priority, even after the defeat of the M23.”

Things then got more heated, with the Rwandan ambassador scolding his Congolese counterpart, saying the DRC has had problems for decades and could not blame them on either Rwanda or Uganda.  He said the two countries had only tried to help Congo and that the envoy’s remarks showed a lack of gratitude.

Ambassador Mavita shot back that Congo wanted a sincere dialogue with Rwanda and that Kigali should end its “arrogant” behavior toward Kinshasa. 

His remarks elicited laughs and animated gestures from Ambassador Gasana.

And with that, the council president said the meeting was over - even though the dispute between Congo and Rwanda is clearly not.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid