News / Africa

DRC Rebels Blame Government for Talks ‘Breakdown’

M23 rebel leader Bertrand Bisimwa (C) is seen in a March 7, 2013, file photo.
M23 rebel leader Bertrand Bisimwa (C) is seen in a March 7, 2013, file photo.
Peter Clottey
The leader of the rebel M23 group says the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) government is to blame for the breakdown of peace talks being held in neighboring Uganda.

The talks followed an agreement by leaders in the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) to help end the violence in the eastern part of the DRC.

“The government of Kinshasa is not on the ground in Kampala, [their] officials went back to Kinshasa and we don’t know why. But our delegation is in Kampala and we are waiting for the government of Kinshasa to come, and we think that if they come we can continue with the talks,” said Bertrand Bisimwa, leader of the M23 rebels.

He says members of his group are frustrated with the DRC government’s lack of commitment to the talks.

Bisimwa says the M23 wants amnesty for all its fighters, but the government has yet to meet their demands.

“When the government of Kinshasa says that it can’t give amnesty to us, it means that it doesn’t want peace in the country,” continued Bisimwa. “If the government says it doesn’t want to implement a program of reconstruction of the eastern Congo, this is a big problem. If the government says it can’t integrate our forces into the national army, this is a big problem. We think that they will change their position if they want peace in our country.”

Bisimwa made his comments after the rebel group reduced its delegation at the peace talks in Uganda to just two people, but denied it has abandoned negotiations with the government.

The two sides have been talking to the Ugandan facilitator, but their meetings with him have recently decreased in frequency.

Bisimwa also denied his rebel group receives support from Uganda and Rwanda.

“When the government is not able to resolve problems [in] society they [point] to someone or some country to accuse [them] to be the causes of their incapacity to resolve the problem of the people; we are not surprised by this accusation,” said Bisimwa.

In March, the United Nations Security Council authorized a special “intervention brigade” to pursue armed groups in the eastern part of the DRC as part of its peacekeeping operation. The intervention brigade consists of more than 3,000 troops from Tanzania, South Africa and Malawi, operating as part of the U.N. mission MONUSCO, but with a stronger mandate to attack the rebels.

But Bisimwa says the government appeared disinterested in the peace talks after the United Nations announced the imminent arrival of the new intervention brigade.

“Even when we were talking in Kampala, they went to the United Nations to bring the brigade against us again.  It means that they don’t need peace in our country. They need only a victory [over] M23, not peace for our people,” he said.

Clottey interview with M23 rebel leader Bertrand Bisimwa
Clottey interview with M23 rebel leader Bertrand Bisimwai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid