News / Africa

US Calls for Congo, Rwanda, Uganda Talks on Kivu Rebels

Congolese Revolution Army [M23] rebels sit on a truck soon after capturing the city from the government army, as they patrol a street in Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, November 20, 2012.
Congolese Revolution Army [M23] rebels sit on a truck soon after capturing the city from the government army, as they patrol a street in Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, November 20, 2012.
The United States says the presidents of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo should meet to end a Congolese rebellion that Tuesday took control of a key provincial capital along the border with Rwanda.  

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says the capture of the city of Goma by rebels from the M23 group is a dangerous and worrying sign for the Great Lakes region.

"We condemn the ongoing violent assault of M23 and the fact that it has now taken Goma in violation of the sovereignty of the DRC," said Nuland.

M23 rebels say they are ready to open talks with Kinshasa.  But President Joseph Kabila's government says it will not negotiate with the group unless Rwanda is involved because Congo accuses Rwanda of sponsoring the rebellion.

Rwanda denies the allegations and says the issues are broader than any one rebel group.  President Paul Kagame's government says President Kabila is failing to protect ethnic Tutsis in eastern Congo.

DRC map, North Kivu provinceDRC map, North Kivu province
DRC map, North Kivu province
DRC map, North Kivu province
On Tuesday, the State Department's Victoria Nuland called on those leaders to join with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to end the crisis.

"We also bilaterally are working with Presidents Kagame, Kabila, [and] Museveni to encourage them to come together in a process of dialogue to reject any kind of military solution to the problems in eastern DRC, and instead set up a political process to address grievances, to renounce any kind of external support for M23," she said.
A June U.N. report accused Rwandan defense officials of backing M23, prompting the United States and some European countries to suspend military assistance to Kigali.  Washington repeatedly has called on Rwanda to distance itself from the group.

Again, Victoria Nuland:

"We do think that Rwanda has got to be part of the solution here, that they have influence and that they need to use it with regard to demilitarizing the situation, getting the M23 to pull back, to ensure that they are not externally supported," said Nuland.

The U.N. Security Council was to have voted on Tuesday on a French-drafted resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire and more international sanctions against M23 leaders.  That vote is expected on Wednesday.   

  • M23 rebels guard weapons given to them by the government's army, Goma, DRC, November 21, 2012.
  • A Congo government policeman hands in his weapon to M23 rebels during an M23 rally in Goma, DRC, November 21, 2012.
  • Congo government policemen, foreground, and civilians gather during a M23 rally in Goma, Congo, November 21, 2012.
  • A M23 fighter, wearing a belt of ammunition, walks down a street in Goma, after the rebels captured the city from the government army, November 20, 2012.
  • People walk the streets of Goma, DRC during a lull in the fighting, November 20, 2012. (VOA 100 Citoyens journalistes de RD Congo)
  • M23 rebels in the streets of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 rebels enter Goma, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 rebels celebrating their takeover of Goma, DRC, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 spokesperson Lt. Col. Vianney Kazarama entering Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 Rebels patrolling in Goma, DRC, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)

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Comment Sorting
by: Rehani from: Unknown
November 20, 2012 10:49 PM
We as really Congolese, we knew long time ago the Business of Rwanda and other countries behind him, their business of killing people. After that , they would like to be hiding like cat in his chase. We know who is behind of Rwanda and M23 . And is ur business, but you have to know a day x we will be judge with the one who is up of the world.

by: Laurie from: Chico, CA
November 20, 2012 6:23 PM
It breaks my heart to hear that the dear people of Goma are once again suffering at the hands of wicked men. I pray that they will not rape and kill so cruelly as they have in the past. I wish there was a way for the people of this country to find peace. Pray for Goma!

by: David from: Washington DC
November 20, 2012 4:26 PM
Our president is Tshisekedi, he is the man who defend our sovereignty, our interest for development..ect. He won election. However Kabila has to step down, he lead Congo for 11 years and he fails. Our wealth is transported to East Africa and South Africa create jobs, build infrastructure, and others opportunities but Congo stays starvation, in addition they rape our women and kill over 6millions because of evil foreign policy from G8 toward Congo. They support "pupet"Kabila. God will confused all enemies of Congo.

by: G.T.Graham from: usa
November 20, 2012 2:45 PM
There is reason to believe that rather than the usual UN approach of opposing all "rebels" in all contexts, that a new independent country should be carved out of the Eastern Congo, aligned or combined with Rwanda and Uganda. The Congo government itself has shown itself utterly incompetent to govern its own territory much less the eastern portion thousands of miles from the capital, and the country itself is enormous in size, larger than all of western Europe together. On the other hand, Rwanda has the best economy in all of Africa, and its history in opposing the holocaust in its country should give it substantial deference and consideration, much like Israel and its history. The only way there will be security and economic development is in alignment with these countries, not with an outmoded and farcical supposed control by the Congo.
In Response

by: Evil
November 22, 2012 4:08 AM
I don't think that will ever happen no matter how much support the USA will supply.Far toom much blood in so many people's hands.

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