News / Africa

DRC Official Blames Rebels for Stalled Peace Talks

A soldier with M23 keeps watch on the valley below the hill of Kavumu in North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, June 3, 2012.
A soldier with M23 keeps watch on the valley below the hill of Kavumu in North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, June 3, 2012.
Nick Long
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s government is denying it has pulled out of the Kampala peace talks with the M23 rebels, and says it is the rebels who have left the talks. Congo’s government spokesman said talks are not going well because the rebels have been making impossible demands.

DRC government spokesman Lambert Mende was reacting to comments made Sunday by Bertrand Bisimwa, the M23's leader. Bisimwa said the government was not committed to the Kampala talks and the officials in its delegation had gone back to Kinshasa.

Mende insists it is not the government that abandoned the talks. "It is the M23 who have pulled out of the negotiations," he said. "The government delegation is still in Kampala. The M23 announced they were pulling out four days ago."

A VOA reporter in Kampala, Austere Malivika, said some of the government team is still in Kampala and the head of the delegation, the foreign affairs minister Raymond Tshibanda, met the Ugandan facilitator of the talks in Kampala two days ago during a stopover between Addis Ababa and Kinshasa.

The M23 has not denied that its team in Kampala was down to just two people at the weekend.

The two delegations have met just once since the start of this month, but have been communicating via a Ugandan facilitator.

Mende said the government team went to Kampala to negotiate, which he said can be done through a facilitator as this is a common formula in negotiations.

The two sides appear far apart on some key issues.

Bisimwa said Sunday if the government is not prepared to give the M23’s fighters amnesty that means it does not want peace, and if the government will not integrate M23 fighters in the army that also is a big problem.

Mende said the government is ready to give amnesty and integrate the rank and file of the M23 in the army, but not the commanders.

He said Kinshasa cannot give amnesty to the entire M23 because, he said, it includes war criminals and others guilty of serious human-rights violations, and the government is committed under international conventions to bring these people to justice.

For the same reason, he added, the government cannot integrate the M23’s commanders into the army.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid