News / Africa

DRC Open to Talks With Armed Groups

DRC Communication minister and government spokesman, Lambert Mende (file photo)
DRC Communication minister and government spokesman, Lambert Mende (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s information minister says the government in Kinshasa is not opposed to holding talks with armed groups to resolve conflicts in the restive parts of the Central African nation.

“The DRC has no problem with trying to resolve conflict with dialogue [and] that is why we have set meetings with M23, though they are negative forces,” said information minister Lambert Mende. “But, we know that we need to talk to them so that we can cut the linkage between them and their masters outside the country.”

Mende’s comments came after regional leaders called for dialogue and cooperation as part of an effort to deal with the security crisis in the Great Lakes Region. The leaders who met at a two-day summit in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, outlined steps to resolve conflict in the region.

The information minister denied that talks in neighboring Uganda between his government and representatives of the M23 rebels had broken down.

The M23 rebel group has accused the government of not being committed to the Kampala talks to end the conflict in the northern part of the country. But, Mende disagreed, calling the accusation part of the negotiating process.

“These are negotiation postures. People say things so they can push their agendas. We are negotiating definitely -- nobody can say that the Congolese government refuses to negotiate,” said Mende.

The DRC and the United Nations have accused Uganda and Rwanda of supporting armed groups that often fight the Congolese national army. But both Uganda and Rwanda have denied the accusation.

Mende says there is need for the neighboring countries to stop meddling in his country’s internal affairs.

“This might jeopardize all endeavors that are being made to have peace and security in the region,” said Mende. “We think that pressure must be put on our Rwandese counterparts so that they cool down…”

Mende says the government is pleased with the new mandate of the United Nations Mission (MONUSCO). However, he acknowledged that some Congolese often attacked by the armed groups are frustrated with the U.N. peacekeepers because they want MONUSCO to quickly end the rebellion.

“We are satisfied with the deployment of the U.N. international brigade. We are witnessing the good will on their part.  They are assisting us; they are cooperating with us, and they are protecting civilians [and] we are happy with that,” said Mende.
Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, DRC information minister
Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, DRC information ministeri
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Oxen
August 03, 2013 3:45 PM
Rwanda and Uganda regimes needs to pressed more to stop support of nefarious rebel groups in DRC. Otherwise they must be stopped by all necessary means,like sanctions and force to hit any reinforcements with forces and equipment crossing borders. Both the minister of defence in Rwanda and the president should be held fully accountable for any Rwanda forces and support found with the rebels. UN/SADC/DRC would be very naive indeed to believe that the greedy warlords leading the regimes in the neighbouring countries will leave East DRC alone without a strong permanent military deterrent. DRC needs peace so that the population can settle down, but the M23 and other groups are a huge menace, the level of their greed and savagery is appalling.


by: Mulumba Paul
August 02, 2013 2:07 PM
Right now let's pressure Rwanda to negotiate with the FDLR as well...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid