News / Africa

DRC Government Accuses M23 of Scores of Murders

Congolese M23 rebel fighters detain a man suspected to be an FDLR rebel returning from an incursion into Rwanda near Kibumba, north of Goma, November 27, 2012.
Congolese M23 rebel fighters detain a man suspected to be an FDLR rebel returning from an incursion into Rwanda near Kibumba, north of Goma, November 27, 2012.
Nick Long
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s government has accused the M23 rebels of murdering more than 60 people and wounding more than 200 since they captured the city of Goma last week.  The United Nations says it can confirm there have been killings in Goma but cannot say who was responsible.  

The accusations were made by the DRC government spokesman Lambert Mende at a press conference in Kinshasa on Wednesday.
 
Citing sources in hospitals and in local government, Mende said 64 people had been deliberately murdered by the M23 in Goma in the nine days since they took over the town. He also said 228 civilians had been admitted to hospitals and clinics in the town for serious bullet and bayonet wounds.
 
Long list of accusations

The alleged killings and woundings were part of a long list of accusations made against the movement by the government spokesman.
 
Mende said there has been systematic looting in Goma since last week, particularly of houses and cars belonging to senior government officials, most of whom have fled.  He said stocks of minerals have disappeared, dozens of lorries have been stolen and sold at knocked-down prices, and accused M23 of even pillaging a hospital.
 
Who Are the M23 Rebels?

  • Named for March 23, the date of a 2009 peace deal
  • Contains fighters once loyal to a rebel army who assimilated into the DRC army, then defected
  • Formed in early 2012
  • Dominated by the Tutsi ethnic group
  • Also known as the Congolese Revolutionary Army
  • UN experts say the group is backed by Rwanda, which Rwanda denies
He said, on the night of November 25 the military hospital at Katindo was looted by wreckers from M23.  The equipment was taken out of the country, said Mende, by those who, in his words, "dare to call themselves Congolese patriots."
 
The accusations come about 36 hours after a deadline expired for the M23 to leave Goma.  The presidents of the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda agreed at the weekend to give the rebels 48 hours to move their troops out of the eastern city, the capital of North Kivu province.
 
The United Nations peacekeeping mission MONUSCO said Wednesday it could not confirm that the M23 had left or was leaving Goma. 

MONUSCO spokesman Mounoubai Manodge said some troops had left but others had arrived.
 
MONUSCO investigating murders

Manodge said MONUSCO is investigating the accusation that M23 carried out dozens of murders in the town.
 
"We have received information regarding some killings carried out by the M23 in Goma. We can’t confirm the figure - we are investigating this.  We can only speak about verifiable numbers.  We can confirm that there have been some killings but we have to make sure they were done by M23 before we can say anything," said Manodge.   
 
MONUSCO has evacuated 22 magistrates from Goma on the grounds that their lives might be in danger.  At least one of them came close to being killed, said Manodge.
 
"One of the magistrates was involved in a trial where one of the M23’s leaders was condemned.  So when the M23 took power, they went for him and the guy told him ‘You condemned me to 12 years, me I’m condemning you to death’, and they were about to kill him, but some people intervened.  That’s how his life was saved," he said.
 
VOA tried to contact M23 for its reaction to the allegations but it spokesmen were not immediately available.
 
In the past few days M23 spokesmen have been saying the movement won’t evacuate Goma until the government agrees to enter negotiations.
 
Government spokesman Mende said the government had agreed to listen to the movement and to re-evaluate a previous agreement which it signed with armed groups, including the M23’s leaders, in 2009.
 
But the M23 has to get out of Goma before that re-evaluation can start, he said.

 

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: David from: Washington DC
November 28, 2012 4:13 PM
As soon as DRC Army or UN don't use force to bring M23 out, they will never leave Goma. This is not the first time, they occupy Goma. Over 14 women were raped during this occupation, this is a humiliation that Congolese will never forget. M23 vandalize too many things which they will never pay??
In Response

by: sylie from: goma
November 29, 2012 2:21 AM
why are lieng to this troop m23 ?they never rape anyone in the eastern of DRCmcan you rape your sister or your brother?i can tel you that the m23 are our brother and they cant do that.i will advice you to stop judging people py your feelings and go and talk to your brother kabila who sold the contry since 2008 for his personnel profit

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs