News / Africa

    Kerry Seeks End to Military Support for Congo Rebels

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the United Nations Security Council at U.N. headquarters in New York, July 25, 2013.
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the United Nations Security Council at U.N. headquarters in New York, July 25, 2013.
    Margaret Besheer
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called on all parties to end their support for armed rebel groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Secretary Kerry made the call at his United Nations debut as the top U.S. diplomat Thursday, chairing a high-level U.N. Security Council session on the Great Lakes region and the DRC.
     
    He told the meeting that he is deeply concerned about recent reports of resumed external support to the M23 rebel group, and reports of collaboration with the Rwandan Hutu rebel group in the eastern DRC, known as the FDLR.
     
    “I want to be emphatic here today: all parties must immediately end their support for armed rebel groups," he said. "All governments must hold human rights violators and abusers accountable. We must end the era of impunity.”
     
    Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch issued a report saying Rwanda has provided ammunition, food, and training to M23 rebels and allowed its leaders to recruit inside Rwanda, including among demobilized Rwandan soldiers.
     
    Meanwhile, Rwanda accused U.N. peacekeepers of backing alleged collaboration between the DRC army and the FDLR.
     
    While Kerry did not directly name Rwanda, he urged regional actors to exercise restraint and return to a constructive path, moving forward to address the root causes of regional conflict and permanently resolve it.
     
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also expressed concern about recent fighting and called on the signatories to February's Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework to work positively with each other in order to endorse the document this September on the margins of the annual General Assembly debate.
     
    Ban urged countries to support this goal through all the means available, including sanctions for spoilers.
     
    “I call on the international community to use all tools from international criminal prosecution to sanctions regimes to development assistance,” he said.

    Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo appeared to ignore allegations that her government supports armed groups in the eastern DRC. She said Rwanda is “eager” to do its part to help implement the Framework agreement, and noted Rwanda's cooperation in helping facilitate the handover of wanted warlord Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court when he surrendered at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali in March.
     
    In an effort to stem the violence, the United Nations recently added a robust specialized force to its already huge peacekeeping mission in the eastern Congo. The so-called intervention brigade is tasked with neutralizing armed groups.
     
    The U.N. will also soon start using unarmed drones to monitor the DRC's lengthy eastern border. On the development side, the World Bank has pledged $1 billion to enhance infrastructure and encourage trade.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.