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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid