News / Africa

DRC Welcomes ‘Action’ by UN Intervention Brigade

Tanzanian Forces of the U.N. Intervention Brigade attend a training session outside Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Aug. 9, 2013.
Tanzanian Forces of the U.N. Intervention Brigade attend a training session outside Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Aug. 9, 2013.
Nick Long
The United Nations Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a new-style U.N. peacekeeping force with a uniquely robust mandate, has finally started fighting, the DRC government said Friday. The force of more than 3,000 troops, mainly from Tanzania and South Africa, has been in eastern Congo for nearly three months and on Thursday opened fire on the M23 rebels.
 
This was the moment many people in eastern Congo had been waiting for, DRC government spokesman Lambert Mende said at a press conference. "I think we can simply welcome the fact that the brigade has gone into action, since yesterday. It’s a good thing, better late than never.”

There were about 16,000 U.N. peacekeepers in Congo before the brigade deployed, but they had taken little part in the government's attempt to neutralize the M23 rebels. Doubts had been rising whether the new-style brigade would be any different.
 
In a second day of fighting Thursday between the army and the M23, some 17 kilometers north of Goma, however, the brigade’s artillery unit from Tanzania fired its field artillery at the rebels’ positions, according to international observers and sources within the Congolese army.
 
It is unclear who started the latest clashes. An army officer told VOA that government troops had advanced four kilometers since Wednesday, but other sources believe they have moved forward less than two kilometers.
 
Either way, the city of Goma is still within range of M23 rockets. The M23 captured the strategic objective in November, but then evacuated under international pressure.
 
Mende said 11 rockets fell on Goma and its outskirts Thursday, killing at least one person and wounding 12. He said experts reported that the missiles were fired from Rwanda. Rwanda has consistently denied supporting M23 and has said that missiles were fired from Congo into Rwandan territory in the past two days.
 
Experts, including a Congolese army officer, said the rockets that hit Goma more likely had been fired from the M23’s positions.
 
Mende was asked by a journalist whether DRC should cut off diplomatic relations with Rwanda over the allegations that it has been supporting M23, and that rockets have been fired from its territory at Congo, and his answer was effectively, no.
 
He said Congo's president, Joseph Kabila, answered that question when he said he would follow the advice of regional leaders by not declaring war on Rwanda or cutting ties with that country.
 
Mende noted that the president had withdrawn his ambassador from Kigali, though, leaving only lower ranking diplomats at the DRC embassy there.
 
Congolese army sources say that only the Tanzanian troops in the Intervention Brigade have fired at the M23 so far, and they did so from some ways behind the government forces' front lines.
 
A U.N. source said the South African government is not reluctant to combat the M23 rebels, but its forces were not needed in the latest engagement, which required only the use of the Tanzanian field artillery unit.
 
The intervention brigade commander used to be Tanzania’s highest ranking artillery commander.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Oxen
August 24, 2013 5:37 PM
The M23 rebels need to be taken out, Kabarebe and Kagame of Rwanda indicted by ICC. Rwanda has caused so much trouble to DRC and must be stopped. If necessary the fight should be taken all the way to Kigali and remove the Kagame , Kabarebe junta. There are a huge menace to the region. In Mid 1990's Kabarebe forcefully dispersed refuges in DRC when fighing to topple Mobutu. Majority of the refuges died or were executed. Rwanda's M23 must be stopped by all means and Rwanda regime reigned in or removed like Idi Amin was removed. If Uganda joins openly too to help the rebels, then the regime there should also be pushed out by force. SADC/UN can easily do that. Those regimes are not popular they are clinging to power by stealing elections, repressions and other forms of brutality and manipulation of masses , corruption and nepotism.

In Response

by: Mark from: South Sudan
August 26, 2013 8:34 AM
Its really good to know that jealouse and ignorance does not rule this world otherwise your comments would be make the president of the world. Worry not, Rwanda is one of the most success stories in history, so having enemies like you, its no surprise. U wish a war on kigali but don't be surprised when it comes to your doorstep. The regimes are so popular its just that your ignorant to know that. Check the facts u will know.

In Response

by: gabriel from: kigali
August 26, 2013 5:06 AM
It seems neither Josh is not from Rwanda and definitely not a Rwandan nor Oxen is not aware of any Rwandan History apart from the garbage published by Genocidaires like him!
Guyz why dont u leave us alone and mind you business after killing our beloved parents and relatives!

In Response

by: Josh from: Rwanda
August 25, 2013 11:52 AM
Here in Rwanda Kagame's Gestapo continues to abduct people in the middle of the night. while in the same time selling the story of Economic success to the International community. Both kagame and kaguta are liars and serial mass murderers who should be condemned by the International Community and be made to pay for The Genocide of the Congolese people.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid