News / Africa

DRC Government ‘Ready’ For Peace Talks with M23 Rebels

From left, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Central African Republic President Michel Djotodia attend Heads of States and Governments International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, Nairobi, July 31, 2013.
From left, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Central African Republic President Michel Djotodia attend Heads of States and Governments International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, Nairobi, July 31, 2013.
Peter Clottey
The Democratic Republic of Congo is ready to re-start peace talks with the M23 rebels in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, according to Information Minister Lambert Mende.

Mende says President Joseph Kabila’s administration intends to find a political solution to the conflict in the restive North Kivu province following renewed clashes between the national army [FARDC] and the M23 rebels.

 “Our delegation has never totally left Uganda. So anytime we are ready, even [Friday] we are ready, for the talks,” said Mende. “What we need as a government is [for] the M23 to disarm themselves and dissolve as an armed group. We cannot discuss with them while they are still armed and killing our people.”

Mende’s comments came after heads of state in the Great Lakes region demanded a resumption of the stalled peace talks between the Congolese government and the rebels.

The African leaders, who met Thursday in Kampala to find ways of ending the conflict, demanded the talks begin within three days and end within 14 days.

Some analysts say the breakdown of the peace talks led to a resumption of the conflict in the North Kivu province. But, Mende denied the talks with the rebels have stalled.

“We have never stopped these talks. We have given to the facilitator our draft for conclusions and so did the M23, so both of us were waiting the synthesized documents from the government of Uganda, so as to approve or reject [the proposals],” said Mende. “So what the heads of state say did not disturb us at all. We really need to finalize these talks and we are happy that they [the African leaders] have put a deadline of 14 days.”

The leaders also urged the United Nations Mission in the DRC, MONUSCO, to keep up pressure on the rebels to end the insurgency.

Mende says the rebels are to blame for the renewed clashes. He says the M23 attacked unarmed civilians despite talks in neighboring Uganda to address their concerns.

“They started attacking the FARDC in the field. So, now if they accept to resume talks, [then] let them stop fighting in the field. They are Congolese and we are very ready to discuss with them, so it is a good thing if we can resume talks,” said Mende.

Mende says conflict-weary Congolese are hopeful the government would end the conflict.

“The Congolese are expecting peace,” said Mende. “The Congolese are expecting [that] our neighbor Rwanda stops interference in Congolese affairs, stops giving guns to some of our compatriots to kill other compatriots, and that is what we are expecting from this meeting with M23.”

The Rwanda government sharply denies accusations it supports the M23 rebels fighting the DRC government.
Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, Congo's information minister
Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, Congo's information ministeri
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill More

What Happens When Americans Eat What They Tweet

You are what you tweet, according to new maps that show a correlation between obesity and tweeting about high-fat foods More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Slow poison from: south africa
September 28, 2013 6:35 AM
UN Soldiers have to go search rebels and disarm them...dead or Alive.

by: pierre mwanza from: Everett,MA
September 06, 2013 9:25 PM
The M23 is not cmposed of congolese people ,they are ruanda people they came with the ruanda army in 1996 when Ruanda army Invaded the Congo to ousted Mobutu .
James Kaberebe was the command of that group the so called M23


by: nason Simango from: South Africa
September 06, 2013 9:40 AM
M23 never attempt to disarm for talks they will attack you never never never pliz

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs