News / Africa

    DRC Rebels Threaten March on Goma ‘to Save Population’

    Nick Long

    Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo say they’re ready to seize Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, in order to "save the population" from an upsurge of violence. 

    A spokesman for the M23 rebel movement, Vianney Kazarama, said Monday that if Congo’s President Joseph Kabila cannot control his army, the M23 will move in and take Goma to save civilian lives. 

    His threat comes after a week in which at least 10 people in Goma have been killed in a series of shootings and an explosion for which no one has taken responsibility. Rebels are blaming the military for the violence. Authorities in Goma and some civil society groups allege that the M23 is responsible.

    The rebels’ front line positions are less than 50 kilometers from Goma, but several thousand regular army troops and a brigade of U.N. peacekeepers with tanks and armored vehicles stand in the way of the M23, whose forces are thought to number fewer than 1,500.

    Twenty people have been arrested in connection with the killings, including some soldiers. Faustin Ntibategerra, a researcher who has worked for Human Rights Watch, says he thinks the M23 is connected to the deaths.

    He told VOA that as the M23 consists of defectors from the army, the group might have sympathizers still in the army whom the M23 might have ordered to carry out these killings. 

    Congo's Interior Minister Richard Muyej visited Goma recently and spoke of an ‘over-militarization’ of the town, as a result of the M23 rebellion, and of lax discipline in the security services. 

    Ntibategerra says no reason has been given for that lax discipline.

    He said that despite the interior minister talking about 'over-militarization,' the problem is poor government support for the military, whose members are not fed or paid properly, and whose wives and children have to beg in the street.  It would hardly be surprising, he said, if some soldiers collaborated with bandits to make enough money to survive.

    Ntibategerra says the victims of the recent violence were just ordinary people, none of them well-known except for the owner of a gasoline station who was shot dead at night outside his home. 

    The researcher says some of the victims of the recent violence may have been targeted at random by people who just want to spread fear. The victims include a soldier and a bar owner who were both shot dead at her bar, and several people killed in a grenade blast, including the soldier thought to have been carrying the grenade.

    The United Nations military mission to Congo has warned the M23 that it will take all measures necessary to stop any attempt to take Goma.

    U.N. Security Council officials have alleged that Rwanda is supporting the M23 rebels, but Rwanda denies the charge. 

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Matthew C.George from: Providence,Rhode Island
    October 03, 2012 4:04 PM
    The United Nation security Councle need to send a clear message to the Rwandaian government.What happening in DRC is terriable.M23 using young girls as sex slaves.The Rwandaian government should stop supporting the M23.If the Rwandain government continues supporting M23,the security councle should impose section on Rwandaian government.

    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.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora