News / Africa

Congo Rebels Demand Talks With President Kabila

Congolese rebels sit in a truck as they patrol a street in Sake, 25 kilometers north of Goma city soon after the rebels captured the town from the government army, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, November 21, 2012.
Congolese rebels sit in a truck as they patrol a street in Sake, 25 kilometers north of Goma city soon after the rebels captured the town from the government army, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, November 21, 2012.
VOA News
Rebels who seized Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo have rejected calls to withdraw from the city and are demanding talks with Congolese President Joseph Kabila.

The head of the M23 rebel group's political arm, Jean-Marie Runiga, told reporters the group is staying in Goma while it awaits dialogue with the president.

Meanwhile, new fighting broke out Thursday in the nearby town of Sake, which M23 said it seized earlier this week.

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
VOA correspondent Gabe Joselow witnessed mortars falling near Sake, and said tens of thousands of civilians are fleeing north toward Goma.

The fleeing residents said M23 was fighting a Mai Mai militia that may have formed an alliance with the Congolese army. The rebel group has sent truckloads of reinforcements to the town.

Photo Gallery: M23 Rebels Seize Goma



Kabila issued a joint statement Wednesday with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni calling on the rebel group to stop its offensive and pull out of Goma. They also said the DRC government has promised to examine the causes behind the conflict.

The Ugandan and Rwandan presidents voiced support for the DRC government, which the rebels vowed on Wednesday to overthrow.

The DRC has accused both Rwanda and Uganda of supporting M23, an allegation both countries deny.

M23 has said its next goal is Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, which is 100 kilometers south of Goma. It said it hopes to overthrow the DRC government.

DRC map, North Kivu provinceDRC map, North Kivu province
x
DRC map, North Kivu province
DRC map, North Kivu province
On Wednesday, the top U.N. official in the DRC, Roger Meece, said the rebels are executing local leaders in Goma who resist the group's authority. The rebels have yet to respond to U.N. accusations of human rights abuses.

Joselow reported the situation in Goma on Thursday was calm, but said people are nervous.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to impose sanctions against M23 leaders. The French-sponsored resolution demands that the rebels immediately pull out of Goma, located on the Rwandan border, and condemns all foreign support for the group.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs