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

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid