News / Africa

Congo Ready to Sign Document Formalizing Rebel Defeat

FILE - A Congolese army soldier responds to cheers from civilians as the army enters the town of Bunagana, eastern Congo, near the border with Uganda, Oct. 30, 2013.FILE - A Congolese army soldier responds to cheers from civilians as the army enters the town of Bunagana, eastern Congo, near the border with Uganda, Oct. 30, 2013.
FILE - A Congolese army soldier responds to cheers from civilians as the army enters the town of Bunagana, eastern Congo, near the border with Uganda, Oct. 30, 2013.
FILE - A Congolese army soldier responds to cheers from civilians as the army enters the town of Bunagana, eastern Congo, near the border with Uganda, Oct. 30, 2013.
The Democratic Republic of Congo said on Wednesday it was ready to sign a “declaration” that reflects the defeat of M23 rebels, despite pulling out of Ugandan-hosted peace talks a day earlier.
Congo and M23 rebels, the latest incarnation of Tutsi-led insurgents to battle the government near the border with Rwanda and Uganda, had been due to conclude a deal on Monday but Congolese negotiators rejected the name of the document.
Kinshasa's accusations against Uganda and the failure to conclude a political deal to accompany M23's military defeat underscored deep-rooted tensions that will complicate efforts to end Congo's most serious rebellion in a decade.
Saying it would not sign a deal with a group its U.N.-backed army had already defeated, Congo demanded a simple declaration from the rebels that they would not take up arms - and again accused Uganda mediators of taking sides.
The M23 said the document arranging the terms for an end to its 20-month uprising had been agreed upon days in advance.
“We will not sign anything that is contradictory to our national interests,” Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende said on Wednesday. “If that is understood, we will return to Kampala and we will sign a declaration.”
“False and unhelpful"
Uganda rejected charges of bias in favor of M23, saying Congo had made no formal complaint in 10 months of mediation.
“Thus we take this accusation by Mr Mende as unfair, unfounded, false and unhelpful to the peace process in Congo,” Ofwono Opondo, a spokesman for Uganda's government, told a news conference in Kampala.
U.N. experts have accused Uganda and Rwanda of backing the rebels during the uprising. Both countries deny the charge.
Last November, M23 rebels occupied Goma, a town of a million people and the capital of North Kivu province. They withdrew under intense diplomatic pressure that led to the opening of talks in Uganda.
However, the fall of Goma led to a revamping of Congo's army and the strengthening of the U.N. force and its mandate in Congo. When peace talks faltered, rebels were driven from all the remaining towns they occupied in recent weeks.
Uganda is holding Sultani Makenga, M23's military commander, and several other rebels who fled the government offensive.
Mende complained that Uganda had not handed Makenga over to Congolese authorities, as agreed under a regional agreement signed in Addis Ababa earlier this year.
“Makenga is not in a terra incognita. He is not in the desert,” said Mende. “If he returns to the path of war, we will know that it is Uganda which has put him on that path against the Congo and there will be consequences.”
The Addis Ababa deal called on Congo to push through reforms but also called for an end to external meddling in Congo's conflicts, which have often sucked in armies of foreign states.
Opondo said Uganda would not hand Makenga over to Kinshasa. Once an agreement was signed with M23, its commander could be turned in to the United Nations or the African Union, he said.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Bob Mendell from: Chanzu, Congo
November 14, 2013 12:35 PM
M23 fighters accused of flagrant human rights abuses not hesitating to cross the border to Uganda for a safe haven and the Uganda government providing them safe haven disqualify Uganda as an impartial broker. Therefore the "Kampala Talks" have no legitimacy and constitute an exercise of futility aka a joke!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs