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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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 Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs