News / Africa

    Rwanda Says UN Ultimatum Threatened Congo Peace Talks

    Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo gestures during an interview with The Associated Press at the Rwandan Embassy in Washington, (File photo).
    Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo gestures during an interview with The Associated Press at the Rwandan Embassy in Washington, (File photo).
    Reuters
    Rwanda said on Wednesday the decision by a U.N. intervention brigade to forcibly disarm people in a strategic zone of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo had surprised African leaders and risked jeopardizing peace talks.
     
    The U.N. peacekeeping mission said on Tuesday it was setting up a security zone around Goma, which briefly fell into M23 hands last year, and would disarm, by force if needed, anyone carrying weapons after a 48-hour grace period.
     
    “We're worried that such a threat could have easily derailed the peace talks going on in Kampala,” Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told reporters at a regional summit, speaking in English.
     
    Mushikiwabo, whose country is widely believed to support the M23 rebellion, said leaders at the summit in Nairobi expressed their strong support for negotiations held in Uganda between Democratic Republic of Congo and M23 rebels.
     
    Some diplomats, however, said the talks have stalled.
     
    Rwanda denies backing M23. It has also alleged that commanders of the newly deployed special force with a mandate to neutralize armed groups like M23 have met with Rwandan Hutu rebels camped in eastern Congo's borderlands.
     
    The M23 rebels began taking large swaths of Congo's volatile east early last year, accusing the central government of failing to honor a previous peace deal, and dealt a serious blow to the image of the U.N. MONUSCO peacekeepers.
     
    The brief fall of Goma to the rebels prompted the formation of a more robust intervention brigade within MONUSCO.
     
    MONUSCO said on Wednesday the security zone operation would not amount to an offensive targeting a specific armed group.
     
    “This zone is to protect civilians,” said Lieutenant Colonel Prosper Basse, MONUSCO's military spokesman.
     
    Another U.N. source told Reuters the operation would try to clear up small pockets of M23 fighters who remained near Goma after the rebels were pushed several kilometers further north during recent clashes.
     
    The latest flare-up in fighting between Congolese government forces and M23 earlier this month raised tensions again with Rwanda after Congo accused Rwandan specialist units of aiding M23 in the fighting.
     
    “The renewed fighting raises concern over the commitment of the parties to the [Kampala] talks,” Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told the summit. “We want them to resume and conclude quickly.”
     
    The M23 rebels are demanding an amnesty and reintegration into the national army, as well as political concessions. Some delegates at the Nairobi summit said privately that a wide gulf still separated the two sides.
     
    Rwanda on Tuesday dismissed U.S. charges it was supporting the rebellion, telling Reuters at the summit that leveling such accusations was unhelpful.
     
    Congo's foreign minister, Raymond Tshibanda, said, however, that the fact that the conflict was taking place in the east, far from the capital, “showed the importance of external factors to the conflict.”

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mulumba Paul
    August 06, 2013 12:47 PM
    TO Anonymous: Even if the Kagame regime is presented with a picture of himself crossing to support M23 troops in Congo, he will probably deny it and say it was fabricated by human rights watch. The Kagame regime lying spree is shameful to say the least...
    By the way the proof of Rwanda support to M23 is below and the whole world including the US, which taxpayers money Rwanda continue to enjoy while their proxies M23 are committing human rights abuses is below: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/07/22/dr-congo-m23-rebels-kill-rape-civilians

    by: Mulumba Paul
    August 02, 2013 12:37 PM
    TO Anonymous: Of course the governance in DRC needs improving but that is not a reason to allow Kagame and Museveni regimes to take advantage of the situation...
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    August 05, 2013 4:23 AM
    Mulumba, Kagame and Museveni taking advantage is an accusation that needs factual backing from you. From there we can discuss then, otherwise political blame game has been in play as regards the issues in the Congo, and the real issue in DRC will never be addressed until the failing nation itself owns the problem and give it the right solution.

    by: Mulumba Paul
    August 01, 2013 4:44 PM
    So Rwanda is making a mockery of western nations, including the US and is also making a mockery of the UN in which its sits in the Security council. And US taxpayers money is still flowing to support Kagame regime which support human rights abuses in Congo...pathetic...For the sake in peace in the Grand Lake Region, someone stop Kagame and Meuseveni p[olicies
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    August 02, 2013 10:12 AM
    @Mulumba Paul, Kagame and Museveni are not the problems of Congo. Congo has the poorest leaders the continent has seen and the western nations use their idiocy to plunder the country. They will tell Kabila that his problem is Kagame or somebody else and he goes to the holiday leaving the country under the mercy of colonialists. If u really follow politics in the GLR, you will realize that Congo itself is a problem before crying foul of foreign aggression.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.