News / Africa

DRC Signals Progress in Kampala Talks

Margaret Besheer
Members of a U.N. Security Council delegation visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo say they have reassuring signs from the government that it wants a positive outcome to talks with M23 rebels in the east.
 
Kinshasa also expressed its commitment to implementing a regional peace, security and cooperation agreement with its neighbors.
 
Ambassadors from the 15-nation council met with President Joseph Kabila and a wide array of ministers on Saturday. They also attended the final day of a National Dialogue intended to ease domestic political tensions.
 
British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the delegation's discussions with Congolese officials centered on the talks in Kampala, Uganda between the DRC and M23 rebels; commitments made in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the Regional Peace and Security Framework, and internal reforms.
 
“The message that we heard from everyone was a relatively reassuring one, in that the president and other ministers said that they hoped Kampala talks would conclude very shortly," he said. "And also that they felt they were well advanced, and indeed more advanced than some of the neighboring countries, on fulfilling their commitments under the wider peace framework agreement.”
 
M23 briefly seized the eastern provincial capital of Goma last year. Since then, the U.N. Stabilization force, MONUSCO, has been beefed up with a 2,500 strong offensive force that is supposed to protect civilians from all armed groups. So far, it has mainly gone after the M23 because the rebels pose a constant threat to the population.
 
France's deputy ambassador, Alexis Lamek, said Congolese authorities signaled that a political solution is within reach in Kampala.
 
But a number of issues remain unresolved, including amnesty for certain M23 members and the disarmament, demobilization and possible reintegration into the national army of the group.
 
On the Great Lakes Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework, which was signed in Addis Ababa in February, the U.N. delegation urged the Congolese to keep their commitments. They also recommended that Kinshasa intensify efforts to reform the security sector, consolidate state authority and further reconciliation and democratization.
 
On Sunday, the delegation travels to the volatile eastern DRC, where it will meet with the governor of North Kivu province, members of civil society and displaced persons.
 
The delegation will then continue to neighboring Rwanda, which the U.N. has accused of supporting M23 rebels in Congo. The U.N. also says it has proof that Kigali has been systematically recruiting children to serve in the ranks of the M23.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
October 06, 2013 3:57 PM
To sort out this rebel menace, UN/SADC & DRC need to keep up the pressure and ensure the junta's in Kigali and Kampala are checked. For progress to occur there has to be good will, but with autocrats and thousands of militia in the area supported by regimes, it is hard to achieve development and peace. Governance needs to improve in all countries in the region and nice words and promises are not enough but action to help the population that has suffered under the hands of greedy leaders with their militias they call national armies! So far Ban Ki-Moon and Robinson are doing a great job through the UN to sort out this regional mess and keep trouble makers in check.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs