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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid