News / Africa

M23 Rebels Accuse DRC Government of Rejecting Negotiations

Congo Rebels accuses the Congolese government of refusing to negotiate at recently-reconvened peace talks, (File photo).
Congo Rebels accuses the Congolese government of refusing to negotiate at recently-reconvened peace talks, (File photo).
Nick Long
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s M23 rebels are accusing the government of refusing to negotiate at peace talks in Kampala, Uganda. 

The talks in Kampala broke off in April and were scheduled to restart this week.  M23 said the Congolese government team arrived in the Ugandan capital on Wednesday, only to tell the Ugandan mediator that they will no longer negotiate with M23.

In a letter sent on Thursday to the United Nations special envoy for the Great Lakes Region, the rebels also said the government army and its allies are maneuvering heavily in preparation for an imminent attack.  

The letter further accuses the government of arresting more than 50 people in Goma, mostly speakers of the Rwandan language, some of whom it says have been transferred to Kinshasa while others have been taken to unknown locations.

Many of the M23 fighters are Rwandophones.  Several reports by U.N. experts have accused Rwanda of supporting M23, charges the Rwandan government denies.

Congo’s government spokesman Lambert Mende said the government has told the mediator there is no question of restarting talks which had already finished when M23 left the negotiating table.

He said what the government is waiting for now is for the mediator to put forward a document, based on both sides’ proposals.  He said they will then agree on this document.

Mende rejects the accusation that government forces and their allies are ‘maneuvering heavily’.

He said they are the forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and they cannot be criticized for maneuvering on DRC soil.

Mende said the government was aware of only nine people recently arrested in Goma who had been transferred to Kinshasa. He denied the M23’s claim that most of those recently arrested in Goma on spying charges are Rwandophones.

I tell you it’s false, he said. There are only two Rwandophones among the nine arrested, and several of the others are Lebanese, he added.  

U.N. Radio Okapi in Congo said on Thursday that some 20 people had been arrested in Goma recently on suspicion of complicity with M23, according to their relatives.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs