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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
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.

VOA Blogs

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