News / Africa

DRC Army Withdraws from Rebel Zone

TEXT SIZE - +
Nick Long
— Pro-government forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo have pulled back from territory they took from the M23 rebels in the past week.  Civilians in the reoccupied zone are protesting that they wanted the army to stay. 
 
Civilians in Kiwanja, a small town in eastern Congo’s North Kivu province, woke up Sunday to find the army that reoccupied the town two days before had left during the night.  Many people were bitterly disappointed.  
 
The army was guarding us well, says this woman, and says the people do not want the M23 rebels back.
 
Another civilian who also preferred to withhold his identity said an M23 occupation is a worrying prospect.
 
He says when the M23 soldiers are here, business is paralyzed - and there are killings, forced recruitments and sexual violence. But when the government army is here activities are back to normal. 
 
Kiwanja and the neighboring town of Rutshuru were occupied by the M23 since July last year, but they withdrew from this area last Thursday when fighting broke out between rival M23 factions, led by Sultani Makenga and Bosco Ntaganda. 
 
The area was then occupied by government forces and pro-government militias, including the ethnic-Hutu Nyatura militia and Rwandan-Hutu rebels, the FDLR. 
 
They disappeared Saturday, and the M23 arrived peacefully early Sunday to take up their former positions in the two towns.
 
The peaceful handover of the area appears to have been arranged between the government and the rebels with international mediation.
 
That could indicate an agreement between the Makenga faction of the M23 and the government is imminent, in which this faction might agree to join the government army.
 
Vianney Kazarama is spokesman for the Makenga faction.  He told VOA there could be a peaceful solution to the current situation.
 
He says if there is an agreement to create, with external oversight, what he calls a  professional army that would be a good thing, and the M23 would be associated with the process along with the government and external partners.
 
Senior officers from the other M23 faction led by Bosco Ntaganda declined to be interviewed by VOA.  That faction appears to be militarily weaker than Makenga’s group.  It is certainly weaker diplomatically as Ntaganda is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of recruiting child soldiers.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JAIMES KIBINDI BINDI from: LONDON
March 03, 2013 6:56 PM
I BELIEVE THAT 80% OF INFORMATION ARE JUST TO DEMONISE Mr RUNIGA JEAN MARIE AND HIS M23. I PERSONALLY WAS INTERVIEWING REFUGEES IN KIWANZA AND RUSHURU CAMPS HALF AN HOUR BEFORE THE CRIMINAL ACT THAT LEAD TWO OFFICERS DOWN AND SIX CIVILIANS. THESE ACT WAS PERPETRATED BY FDLR DISSIDENTS, SHOULD YOU BE AWARE NO GOVERNMENT SOLDIER OR OFFICIAL HAS BEEN INTO THE AREA SINCE IT WAS TAKEN OVER BY M23. AS SEEN TODAY, SULTANI MAKENGA IS NOW PRO-GOVERNMENT OF KINSHASA AFTER BEING CORRUPTED BY JOSEPH KABILA , HE IS ALSO WORKING WITH FDLR, THIS IS WHY FDLR LEFT RUSHURU WITHOUT ANY RESISTANCE. PEOPLE ARE MORE IN PEACE WITH M23 THAN FDLR OR THE GOVERNMENT.( SAID THE KIWANZA CAMP STAFF. WHY ARE YOU GIVING WRONG INFORMATION I CAN PROVIDE VIDEO AS EVIDENCE.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid