News / Africa

    DRC Hopeful of M23 Rebels’ Extradition

    Congo Rebels accuses the Congolese government of refusing to negotiate at recently-reconvened peace talks, (File photo).
    Congo Rebels accuses the Congolese government of refusing to negotiate at recently-reconvened peace talks, (File photo).
    Peter Clottey
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s information minister says the government in Kinshasa enjoys good relations with Rwanda in spite of the diplomatic challenges between the two neighboring countries.

    Lambert Mende says Kigali has assured the DRC as well as the international community of cooperation after his government issued international warrants for four former leaders of the M23 rebel group believed to be in Rwanda.

    “They were already wanted here in DRC when they fought against the government in North Kivu. Since we learned from a communique from the Rwanda government that they were receiving asylum, we sent a warrant of arrest that was sent by diplomatic [channels] to our Rwanda government counterpart to have the four sent back here in Congo so that they [can appear] before the court,” said Mende.

    The M23 leaders wanted for extradition include M23 Jean-Marie Runiga and military commanders Baudouin Ngaruye, Eric Badege and Innocent Zimurinda.  Kinshasa has accused them of committing crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture and other offenses.

    Relations between the Central African neighbors have been strained by DRC accusations that Kigali has been supporting the rebels. Rwanda denies the charge.

    Some analysts say Kigali might not enforce the DRC arrest warrants due to the diplomatic spat between the two countries. Mende acknowledged the tensions, but said Rwanda will extradite the M23 rebels due to a recently signed agreement between countries of the Great Lakes region – including Rwanda and the DRC -- in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The signatories swore to eradicate rebel groups in North Kivu province.

    “We received [a] statement from the Rwanda government [saying] they are going to cooperate,” said Mende.  “We also have a judiciary agreement with Rwanda. We have not yet received any response from them, but we are waiting with [heightened] interest …. because [it] reiterates its commitment to cooperate with the provision of the agreement. And we have no reason to doubt that they will act accordingly.”

    Mende denies accusations that soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) attacked unarmed civilians following the latest clashes with the M23 rebels.

    “Not a single bullet from FARDC targeted civilians in Rumangabo,” said Mende. “We targeted the headquarters of M23, where [rebel] elements were meeting with the Rwandese Defense Forces to plan and to launch an attack against our troops, and we destroyed their depot of ammunitions. While escaping from Rumangabo barracks, these M23 and Rwanda alliance fired on civilians.”
    Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, DRC information minister
    Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, DRC information minister i
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Ugandan Opposition Candidate: Only Intimidation, Vote Buying Can Prevent Victory

    Kizza Besigye says he has been drawing large crowds and claims he has widespred support ahead of Feb. 18 vote

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    Sanctions Just Got Real for Over 54,000 North Koreans

    Shuttering of Kaesong complex ends virtually any hope of peaceful settlement to long-standing tensions on Korean peninsula in near future

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mulumba Paul
    July 30, 2013 12:43 PM
    Shame on Rwanda for their involvement in bringing instability in the region. DRC instability will not benefit Rwanda and Ouganda. And Rwanda or Uganda will never be able to claim DRC territory as their own and rule them. These are some facts that Rwanda and Uganda should acknowledge and stop their strategic blunders in DRC.
    In Response

    by: Mulumba Paul
    August 06, 2013 12:28 PM
    TO BOBOTO from GOMA DRC: All the problems of the DRC do not give Rwanda or Uganda teh rights to invade part of Congo. Sure governance in DRC needs improvement. How about governance in YOUR country of Rwanda? Where is Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza that your leader Kagame has unlawfully imprisoned for so long? Is that good governance? Should DRC also invade Rwanda due to its issues?
    Regarding rebels in Katanga, I will not be surprise outside forces are in mix in the rush to getting their part of Congo minerals. Regarding FDLR, why isnt your president Kagame negotiating with them as he recommend sthe DRC negotiate with the M23. The time for a blind support to the Rwanda lobby is over! Rwanda and its proxies the M23 cannot continue to loot, rape and murder indefinitely in the DRC. Kagame and Museveni strategic blunders in the great lakes region are coming to light. A free trade area in the region is probably the best answer to their needs of economic growth in the region. Arming rebel groups is not the answer. By the way DRC is not a jungle, otherwise the decent folks at the WorldBank will not invest $1 billion in in the DRC...Please stop your misinformation on the DRC!
    In Response

    by: BOBOTO from: GOMA DRC
    July 31, 2013 2:32 AM
    You still need information on the DRC realities. That country is characterized by a desorganization since several years.It's politicians have no leadership and patriotism. The Congolese misere is never their concern. Their concern is just getting money and enjoy their short term pleasure. Do never condemn Rwanda and Uganda for what is happening in that jungle DRC, are the rebels harassing KATANGA trained in any neighboring country?

    Are FDLR who are only standing for abuses including the sexual atrocity done against ladies and young girls supported by RWANDA and UGANDA? Do you know why the FDLR are protect in DRC despite the atrocities they are committing? It is because they are the best buyers of the weapons from UN Peace keeping force against the precious minerals. No secret under the sun.

    by: emmanuel from: Kenya
    July 29, 2013 12:12 PM
    This really is politic! How can Mende say that Congo is in good relationship with Rwanda while recognizing that Rwanda Defence Force is supporting M23? How Rwanda can arrest those soldiers whilist it is preparing an attack against Goma? Let us wait and see. But I know that Kagame, he will remain stuborn untill... Let's wait and see.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.