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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
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