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

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, the history of take-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora