News / Africa

DRC Rebels Vow to Overthrow Government

The M23 rebels spokesman Vianney Kazarama (L) speaks to the crowd gathered at a stadium in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 21, 2012.
The M23 rebels spokesman Vianney Kazarama (L) speaks to the crowd gathered at a stadium in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 21, 2012.
VOA News
Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo have vowed to seize more territory and topple President Joseph Kabila.

The M23 rebels held a rally Wednesday at a stadium in the eastern city of Goma, which they captured a day earlier. Rebel spokesman Vianny Kazarama said the rebels plan to keep on moving.

"President Kabila brought war planes and big guns, but he was unable to defeat us," he said. "That is a clear sign that we are part of God's plan; we were sent by God and this will not end here," said Kazarama.

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
Hundreds of Congolese police and troops surrendered their weapons at the rally.

Kazarama said the rebels' next goal is Bukavu, 100 kilometers to the south. He said the group already controls the town of Sake, also south of Goma, and plans to eventually reach Kinshasa, the capital, more than 1,500 kilometers to the west.

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.

The DRC and U.N. experts accuse Rwanda of supporting M23 - a charge Rwanda denies.

Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame met late Tuesday and again Wednesday in Uganda's capital, Kampala.  

  • M23 rebels guard weapons given to them by the government's army, Goma, DRC, November 21, 2012.
  • A Congo government policeman hands in his weapon to M23 rebels during an M23 rally in Goma, DRC, November 21, 2012.
  • Congo government policemen, foreground, and civilians gather during a M23 rally in Goma, Congo, November 21, 2012.
  • A M23 fighter, wearing a belt of ammunition, walks down a street in Goma, after the rebels captured the city from the government army, November 20, 2012.
  • People walk the streets of Goma, DRC during a lull in the fighting, November 20, 2012. (VOA 100 Citoyens journalistes de RD Congo)
  • M23 rebels in the streets of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 rebels enter Goma, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 rebels celebrating their takeover of Goma, DRC, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 spokesperson Lt. Col. Vianney Kazarama entering Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 Rebels patrolling in Goma, DRC, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)

Congolese leaders have refused to hold direct talks with the rebels unless Rwanda is included.

On Tuesday, M23 fighters seized Goma with no resistance, after Congolese troops fled and 1,500 U.N. peacekeepers stood by.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tuesday it is "absurd" that there are 17,000 peacekeepers in all of Congo and they could not stop several hundred men. He called for a review of the peacekeepers' mandate.

The U.N. says about one million people are in Goma, many of them displaced from other areas by earlier fighting between the army and M23. The city is the capital of mineral-rich North Kivu province, where the government and U.N. peacekeepers have tried to subdue local rebel and militia groups for years.

Watch related video of rebels and negotiations between DRC, Rwanda officials

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Souleymane Belem from: Ouagadougou
November 21, 2012 1:41 PM
Why are these people straight to condamn rebellion in Congo and don't seem to understand that more importantly, they should do the same in Siria ?

by: mo from: world
November 21, 2012 8:01 AM
Shame on you Fabius, winning a war does not depends on number of fighters but the reasons and motivation why they are fighting. M23 are fighting for themselves, their families in refugees camps for many years above that, fight the arrogance of the Government of Congo. I wish sustainable peace of DRC which will be based on unity, talks and good governance.

by: SNabende from: Kampala
November 21, 2012 6:48 AM
While talks are welcome it should not be lost on all observers the nature of Kagame and Museveni who started their military adventure in Uganda in 1981. Much of the fighting was by Tusti refugees who had been exiled in Uganda after the 1959 troubles that ousted Tustis from power in Ruanda. Many Ugandans did not understand the real motive and identinty of the NRA, the group formed by Museveni and Kagame. After overrunning Kampala in 1986, four years later in 1990, Kagame and other Tustis took arms from Uganda and fought their way into power in Kigali after a genocide in 1994. Two years later, in 1996, Kagame and Museveni made a push on Kinshasa first to remove Mobutu then to take over Congo. This mission has never been finished and today the original NRA that started in Kampala is called M23 in DRC. The methods and some of the personalities are still the same.
It is up to the international community to decide whether Museveni and Kagame should always have their way in advancing the cause of Rwanda Tustis in East & Central Africa.
In Response

by: PASCAL NIYONZIMA from: RWANDA ARMY
November 23, 2012 6:16 AM
I have been in this RPF army for 15 years now, there is no good solutions will come out buy talking and UN involved, because KAGAME is forcing us to go far as KINSHANSA. I am so sorry for the congeries will lose their life in this war, sooner from now this war will be stronger than ever.
To the congeries please move out soon as possible, KAGAME will not allowing us to move back from GOMA we are advancing feather, remember what happened in 1993 the talks with KAGAME and HABYARIMANA did end the RWANDA war or become worse?
I am just sergeant nothing i can do, but God will pay him back for the wrong things KAGAME is doing to his own people, there is no M23 fighting in Congo the soldiers are in GOMA are RPF please don’t be stupid to accept that M23 is other part we are total RPF .
I am sick and tied of this man called KAGAME i know his my Boss but go to hell of it.
I will protect and save any person i will meet on the way in our attacks, with soldiers in my unity we will give no shit of KAGAME.

NB: Civilians please move out SAP
In Response

by: Alexander Gandah from: paynesville,Liberia
November 21, 2012 9:55 PM
friend we are almost saying the same thing the UN does not want to help congo in any way cuz the suspected kigame and museveni should be arrested and made to answer some questions about their role in the conflict.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More