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

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid