News / Africa

    M23, Congolese Government Fail to Sign Peace Agreement

    FILE - General Sultani Makenga, military leader of the M23 rebels, addresses the media in Bunagana, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, September 8, 2013.
    FILE - General Sultani Makenga, military leader of the M23 rebels, addresses the media in Bunagana, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, September 8, 2013.
    A peace deal expected to be signed Monday between the Congolese government and the M23 rebel group has been delayed indefinitely.  

    The peace deal would have marked the end of 10 months of negotiations between the rebels and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where M23 has been waging a 20 month-long insurgency.

    Neighboring Uganda has been mediating talks between the two parties since December.  But although delegations from both M23 and the Congolese government were in Entebbe for the planned signing ceremony Monday, Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo says the Congolese government delegation refused to enter the room.

    “The DRC delegation did not enter the conference room, saying they wanted to read the final text which was given to them.  They have taken more than four and a half hours trying to go through the document, so we can not know what their area of disappointment is.  If they are in agreement they will let us know when they are in agreement and when they are ready to sign," said Opondo.

    In the meantime, he says, the ceremony has been suspended indefinitely.

    Last week, M23 gave up fighting in the eastern DRC, following a military defeat at the hands of the Congolese army and U.N. troops.  The group’s leader, Sultani Makenga, is being held in Uganda along with at least 1,500 of his fighters who crossed the border from the DRC last week.

    M23 had earlier asked for amnesty for its leaders, including Makenga, while the Congolese government wants him returned to the DRC to stand trial.  The issue was expected to be a serious stumbling block to a peace agreement, although it is not clear whether it contributed to Monday’s delay.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    November 12, 2013 10:22 PM
    There is absolutely no reason to continue to waste time with the Museveni regime jokes in Kampala. The fellows there have never believed in anything non violent. Now they are harboring the bandits they sent to DRC and those of DRC they manipulated for their own aims. It is foolhardy to continue to hope for anything useful from the brutal and selfish autocrats in the Uganda Junta. Total waste of time to listen to the gimmicks from the Kampala Junta. I hope UN/SADC/DRC can figure this out asp and deal with their enemies next door as these regimes will never easily allow DRC peace for as long as they are smell minerals in DRC. SADC/UN should have forces ready to tacke the Uganda Rwanda Menace for a long time to come for as long as the backward Uganda and Rwanda leaders are in place

    by: Fortune Mhlongo
    November 12, 2013 11:07 AM
    The issue of peace in the DRC is a long way off. Many years have elapsed and no Governments have been able to bring peace to this Country. Likewise Western Governments and South Africa have failed too. It is indeed a reflection also on the AU and more importantly on the UN.

    by: Jean Kapenda from: USA
    November 12, 2013 9:20 AM
    A few years ago, I wrote in the Foreign Policy Magazine that once the Mad Dog of the Middle East was gone, it was time to turn our attention to the Mad Basenjis who are still ruling Rwanda, Uganda, and other parts of Africa. We haven't forgotten how these two mad basenjis from Rwanda and Uganda fought like dogs in Kisangani, DRC. Here are the links to refresh the minds: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/794496.stm http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/16/world/rwanda-and-uganda-battling-to-control-key-city-in-congo.html

    Again, Rwanda can continue its passive panhandling. It's been good business so far. We hand in money to passive panhandlers if they can pass the test that they're not going to buy alcohol or any other drug. In Rwanda's case, donors care about how that money is going to be spent and Rwanda's mad basenji has been successful at that. He uses that money very well, an incentive for perpetual panhandling and for merciful donors from the West to show compassion even in their hard financial crisis.

    Now let's see how Rwanda is going to survive once the supply chain of stolen goods from the Congo has been interrupted. We'll see how its mad basenji will stay on power once the compassionate donors realize that they have been ripped off. Only time will tell.


    by: Fred Black from: Kigali
    November 12, 2013 5:20 AM
    In DRC, power, authority and state sovereignty have been transferred to aid organizations.
    “Due to a lack of means, capacity, motivation, vision, corruption and mismanagement, state services have been constantly hollowed out and have increasingly been replaced by new coalitions of local and international development actors.”
    so, whether DRC government signs or not problems in congo will take time to be fixed.

    by: Benjamin Likute Bauma from: South Africa
    November 11, 2013 11:41 PM
    The situation In the East of Congo proves that there is no justice on earth. Rwanda and Uganda had fabricated a so-called rebellion which in fact is an invasion of congolese territory by Uganda and Rwanda. These deux countries plundered the congolese soil and killed millions of congolese. All these facts are known by ICC.
    Today Uganda is claiming to be the moderator between so-called congolese rebels (in fact they are Rwandese and Ugandians citizens). While everyone knows that uganda is involved in this plundering and killing taking place in Congo.
    If there justice in this world Kagame, president of Rwanda, Museveni president of Uganda, should be brought to ICC and trial for genocide, crime against humanity and plundering the richess of Congo.

    by: mollypot from: USA
    November 11, 2013 9:38 PM
    M23 should all be placed under arrest, jailed, and tried for crimes against humanity for what they have done to the Congolese people. I don't understand what the hold up is. Lock them up and throw away the key.

    by: Anonymous
    November 11, 2013 6:35 PM
    The Rwanda/Uganda backed M23 bandits were defeated completely and totally flushed out of DRC & now they are uder the protection of their benefactors from prosecution for all the murders/mass graves and other crimes. It is quite foolish forthe rebels and their backers to expect a peace deal when they should be renouncing their backward murderous ways and greed. It is imperative for the rebels and their Kagame and Museveni warlord to hand over the criminals among them that have been cited as leading the plunder , genocide and all crimes against humanity. Also the Rwanda and Uganda regimes must be fully investigated by ICC for the roles they have played in fanning mayhem in DRC since the early 1990's. Anyone counting on a credible deal under mediation of some clowns/warmongers in Kampala may as well go on bridge buying spree-no matter who they are-and that includes the UN envoy for the region-Ms Robinson.

    by: Jon Okeefe from: Bunagana, Congo
    November 11, 2013 3:35 PM
    No amnesty for Rwandans and Ugandan supported M23 killers, looters, rapists, child soldiers enlisters and human rights abusers. That is not an "Eurocentric" approach as the M23 supporter Museveni puts it, that is common sense, you cannot murder your way out to amnesty! The time for indefinite cycles of impunity for warlords in Congo is over!

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    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 '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 New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    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 Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    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 Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    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.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.