News / Africa

DRC Army Withdraws from Rebel Zone

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

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition 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.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
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 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 Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
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 US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
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.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs