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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More