News / Africa

    Congo Rebels Refuse to Withdraw From Goma

    VOA News
    Congolese rebel group M23 says it will not give up the captured city of Goma, despite a demand from regional leaders to withdraw.
     
    Bertrand Bisimwa, the political spokesman for M23, told VOA ((French to Africa Service)) Monday that the group will stay in Goma because there have been no direct negotiations with Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila.
     
    Mr. Kabila met briefly with M23 political leader Jean-Marie Runiga in Uganda's capital recently, but there were no official talks. 

    Who Are the M23 Rebels?

    • Named for March 23, the date of a 2009 peace deal
    • Contains fighters once loyal to a rebel army who assimilated into the DRC army, then defected
    • Formed in early 2012
    • Dominated by the Tutsi ethnic group
    • Also known as the Congolese Revolutionary Army
    • UN experts say the group is backed by Rwanda, which Rwanda denies
    Regional presidents including Mr. Kabila had demanded that M23 pull out of Goma by the end of the day Monday.
     
    The rebels seized the eastern city last week and have since taken the town of Sake to the west. The group has said it will topple the Kabila government.
     
    M23 says its military leader, Sultani Makenga, is traveling to Kampala to talk with regional military chiefs.
     
    Also Monday, U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said she is concerned that what she called a "relatively modest" group of rebels was able to take territory in Congo, despite the presence of U.N. peacekeepers there. She said the U.N. troops, known as MONUSCO, were not able to do what they are mandated to do. 

    DRC map, North Kivu provinceDRC map, North Kivu province
    x
    DRC map, North Kivu province
    DRC map, North Kivu province
    "We are a major supporter of MONUSCO and it needs to be able to be effective in securing populations, which is not currently the case," she said. 
     
    U.N. peacekeepers in Goma gave up defending the city after Congolese soldiers withdrew last week. 
     
    The United Nations has accused Uganda and Rwanda of giving support to M23, a charge both countries deny.  
     
    Goma is located on the DRC-Rwandan border.  Rwandan President Paul Kagame was absent from a meeting of several central African presidents in Kampala on Saturday.  
     
    M23 consists of former rebels who once were integrated into the Congolese army but deserted early this year, complaining of discrimination and poor treatment.
     
    The DRC government has tried for years with little success to pacify the east, where armed groups compete for control of the region's mineral wealth.

    • Shops closed in Sake a day after M23 rebels took control of the town following overnight battles with the Congolese army, DRC, November 23, 2012. (G. Joselow/VOA)
    • Fighting has displaced tens of thousands of people from the town of Sake, west of Goma, DRC, November 23, 2011. (G. Joselow/VOA)
    • With IDP camps filling up since the rebellion in eastern Congo began in April, newly displaced people are sleeping in churches until they can find a place to settle, DRC, November 23, 2012. (G. Joselow/VOA)
    • Displaced people from the town of Sake gather at the Mugunga camp on the road to Goma, DRC, November 23, 2012. (G. Joselow.VOA)
    • Families flee fighting between the Congolese army and M23 rebels in the town of Sake, DRC, November 23, 2012. G. Joselow/VOA)

    You May Like

    Video Russia's Expat Community Shrinking

    Russia's troubled economy, tensions with West have led hundreds of thousands of foreigners to leave for better opportunities

    Accelerating the Push Against Islamic State: What Will Work?

    Experts stress need to step up military action, address root causes of Muslims' disaffection, counter IS social media messages in a massive way

    Experts: N. Korean Abductions Sought to Halt Brain Drain

    Pyongyang abducted about 3,800 South Koreans and more than a dozen Japanese nationals in late 1970s

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    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 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 Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    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 Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    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.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.