News / Africa

DRC Lawmaker: Government Has Failed to Protect Citizens

A M23 rebel fighter prepares his machine gun at their defense position in Karambi, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in north Kivu province, near the border with Uganda, July 12, 2012. A M23 rebel fighter prepares his machine gun at their defense position in Karambi, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in north Kivu province, near the border with Uganda, July 12, 2012.
x
A M23 rebel fighter prepares his machine gun at their defense position in Karambi, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in north Kivu province, near the border with Uganda, July 12, 2012.
A M23 rebel fighter prepares his machine gun at their defense position in Karambi, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in north Kivu province, near the border with Uganda, July 12, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey
A Democratic Republic of Congo parliamentarian says the government has failed to form a credible army capable of defending its citizens from violent attacks by armed groups.

Aime Boji, who is also a leading member of the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) opposition party, said the administration has so far abdicated its responsibility enshrined in the constitution, which he said is to protect Congolese from any foreign aggression.

“We have been telling the government to get on with the reform of the security sector, which includes the building of a truly republican army here in DRC… They have basically had 10 years to build a strong republican army… protect the citizens, but again they have failed to do so,” said Boji.

"The conflict in the east has led to the displacement of millions of people and it only continues on a repetitive basis.  So, yes, the feeling is that of sadness and we have put it to the government hoping that they would be able to find a way to quickly end this situation.”

Boji said many legislators are displeased with the government’s handling of the ongoing clashes between the M23 rebels and the national army (FARDC).

But, the government said the national army is aggressively pushing back rebel attacks.  U.N. helicopters Thursday attacked positions of the rebels in the eastern part of the country.

Boji said the government’s efforts to protect civilians have not been adequate.

“It is not enough because they had plenty of time to deal with this issue. They have had a number of opportunities which, in my view, they have missed,” Boji said.

He attributes the upsurge in violence to the government’s decision to abandon the “Amani peace program,” which brought together all armed groups operating in the country’s northeast, as well as civil society groups to resolve the concerns that led to their insurgencies.

"The government decided to end that program and enter into a joint military [operation] with Rwanda in eastern Congo and this is what has led to the current situation, of the mutiny of a section of our army in the east, which has asked the government to honor its engagement when they signed an agreement in March 2009,” Boji said.

Boji welcomed calls by neighboring Gabon for efforts to resolve the ongoing security crisis in the DRC.

Emmanuel Issozet Ngondet, Gabon’s foreign minister, called for a frank dialogue to ensure peace is restored in the restive east of the DRC, shortly after meeting President Joseph Kabila, Thursday.

"We welcome the initiative by the Gabonese foreign minister.  I believe that most Congolese believe that a political solution is the best way to end this. But, on our side, we need to engage in a serious national debate on how to put to an end to this situation, which has been going on for 10 years,” Boji said.

Clottey interview with Aime Boji, DRC legislator
Clottey interview with Aime Boji, DRC legislatori
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid