News / Africa

Kerry in DRC for Security Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with Democratic Republic of Congo Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda upon his arrival at N'djili Airport in Kinshasa, May 3, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with Democratic Republic of Congo Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda upon his arrival at N'djili Airport in Kinshasa, May 3, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he will meet with President Joseph Kabila.

The two leaders are expected to discuss recent security gains against rebel groups in eastern Congo.

Kerry commented on Ukraine's unrest shortly after arriving in the D.R.C. capital, Kinshasa, on Saturday. He welcomed the release of international monitors who had been held by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine for more than a week.

US African policy

Earlier Saturday, Kerry said the Obama administration is committed to helping African leaders resolve conflicts that threaten economic growth and social development. In a speech in Addis Ababa, Secretary Kerry outlined U.S. policy toward Africa.

In too much of Africa, Secretary Kerry says the threat of violence or all-out war "prevent even the first shoots of prosperity from emerging." But he says Africans today have an opportunity to "bend the arc of history towards reform, not retribution; towards peace and prosperity, not revenge and resentment."

 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud shake hands before a meeting at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, May 3, 2014.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud shake hands before a meeting at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, May 3, 2014.
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud shake hands before a meeting at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, May 3, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud shake hands before a meeting at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, May 3, 2014.
Backing African Union efforts, Kerry says the Obama administration will continue to support fighting al-Shabab in Somalia, tracking down the Lord's Resistance Army, and strengthening Nigeria's fight against Boko Haram's campaign of terror and violence.

"Let me be clear," he said. "The kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime, and we will do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes.

In a speech to African diplomats at a botanical garden outside Addis Ababa, Kerry said Washington will continue to back French and African forces in the Central African Republic as well as regional efforts to resolve the root causes of conflict in the Great Lakes.

 
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, right, chats with John Kerry as he greets him at the President's Office in Juba, S. Sudan, May 2, 2014.South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, right, chats with John Kerry as he greets him at the President's Office in Juba, S. Sudan, May 2, 2014.
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South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, right, chats with John Kerry as he greets him at the President's Office in Juba, S. Sudan, May 2, 2014.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, right, chats with John Kerry as he greets him at the President's Office in Juba, S. Sudan, May 2, 2014.
Following his visit to South Sudan Friday, Kerry pressed President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar to come to talks in the Ethiopian capital on forming a transitional government.

"If both sides do not take bold steps to end the violence, they risk plunging South Sudan into greater desperation and even famine. And that famine could be right around the corner if we don't turn the corner ourselves in the next days," he said. "They will completely destroy what they claim they are fighting for if we do not make a difference now."

He says the United States is working closely with African leaders to tackle corruption and illicit financial transactions because transparency and accountability attract greater investment and create a more competitive marketplace.

Kerry says the Obama administration is helping combat climate change with $1 billion in private-sector financing for an African clean energy initiative.

"Climate change is a global challenge and it's going to threaten this continent and all continents in profound ways if it is not matched by global cooperative action," he said.

From Ethiopia, Kerry traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo for meetings with President Joseph* Kabila before wrapping-up this Africa trip in Angola in talks with President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Snapshots from Secretary Kerry's Africa trip:
 
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds a media conference praising oil-rich Angola's leadership for solving  conflicts on the African continent, in Luanda, Angola, May 5, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with civil society leaders at the U.S. Chief of Mission Residence in Luanda, Angola, May 4, 2014.
  • Angola's Foreign Minister Georges Rebelo Chicoti, right, walks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prior to their meeting at the Finance Ministry in Luanda, Angola, May 5, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks by the Congo River near the U.S. Chief of Mission Residence in Kinshasa, DRC, May 3, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and entrepreneur Patricia Nzolantima point at an ultrasound machine during a tour of a Sustainable Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa medical supply store in Kinshasa, DRC, May 3, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry applauds a local dancer prior to speaking prior to speaking about U.S. policy in Africa at the Gullele Botanic Garden in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 3, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Olusegun Obasanjo, chairman of the African Union's South Sudan Commission of Inquiry, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 2, 2014. 
  • South Sudan's President Salva Kiir chats with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the president's office in Juba, South Sudan, May 2, 2014. 
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with civil society leaders at the U.S. embassy to compel authorities on both sides of the fighting to put a stop to the violence, Juba, South Sudan, May 2, 2014. 

     
  • South Sudanese Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry upon his arrival at Juba International Airport, South Sudan, May 2, 2014. 

* Joseph Kabila was misidentified once in this story as Laurent Kabila. VOA regrets the error.

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Comments page of 2
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by: Aziza from: Kinshasa
May 12, 2014 3:43 PM
Learn your language arts and spelling first you two

by: stura from: london
May 04, 2014 9:18 PM
Licifer joseph kanambe kabila. you killed many congolese people. remember the blood of congoleses people are in your hand then you are not congolese. you are laurent kabila step son. god will judge you wicked soul
In Response

by: joe from: kinshasa
May 05, 2014 1:32 AM
Don't. Just say thing you don't know .what if we advising Kabila to stay on as tere is no one curently. To maimntain peace. Look around the world all those countries that have developed leaders have had to Put in programmes for a long time don't be fooled by old nation they went through all this before

by: James Kuzimwami from: United Kingdom
May 04, 2014 4:11 PM
We all ( Congolese ) hope that Mr Kabila he'll listen to Mr Kerry not to change the constitutions 220 in order to stay in power forever like the president Mobutu did.
Congolese people had enough of these warlords, we need peace, security, prosperity and happiness like every one else.

Mr Joseph Kabila come 2016, please just go quietly, no more blood, we don't need no more Trouble...

by: Leko from: South Africa
May 04, 2014 8:46 AM
There's no peace and stability wherever USA dictate ruling government ...

Good luck - DRC !

by: Ryan from: USA
May 03, 2014 9:54 PM
Bad News for Africa!!! These people are the reason the African continent is in turmoil. Obama is a puppet.

by: Jean Kapenda from: USA
May 03, 2014 8:02 PM
This is a right move in the right direction. Giant and immensely rich Congo matters not only for its economic weight, but also for its cultural influence across Africa for the last 60 years. Time for Realpolitik, when mutual interests must prevail over anything else!

by: bienvenu from: Dallas
May 03, 2014 7:52 PM
The president of DRC (congo) is Joseph kabila not Laurent kabila
In Response

by: Julien Mombele from: Australia
May 04, 2014 7:36 AM
Joseph Kabila (Hypolithe Kanambe) is not up to the task, DRCongo is giant country in Africa therefore deserves better leader than Kabila. I would hope that Kerry also speak to Kabila's godfathers Kagame and Museveni who are causing the war in the region. They need to get real....African people don't deserve to be punsih for their self-interest/dictatorship agenda.

by: m a naser from: bangladesh
May 03, 2014 3:43 PM
Mr.Kerry!your African tour is a brave and leader like move,which is very timely & as well as helpful to the war torned poor brothers & sisters of Africa. It will rebuild the lost courage to fight with the blood thirsty war lords all over the Africa. I do support the american efforts to Africa to stop once for all the sectorian violence in the name of holy religions or to gain power by force instead of through democratic election.

by: Julius Olokose from: Piscataway Nj
May 03, 2014 2:16 PM
Thank you all for all your efforts may God bless the U.S.A and God bless us all as we stand together during this difficult period

by: Muana Kasongo from: DRC
May 03, 2014 1:41 PM
I hope that President Kabila will consider this visit of Mr. Kerry as an opportunity to find solution for recovering lasting peace in eastern Congo. Also, we are expecting Mr Kerry to mention the problem of the modification of the constitution during his talk with President Kabila and his staff. It is known by all congolese that they are attempting to do so. They can plunge the country in a political crisis.
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