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

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs