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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid