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)
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

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

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
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.
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