News / Africa

Rwanda Denies Presidential Walkout on Congo Meeting

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, center, joins hands with President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila Kabange, left, and President of Rwanda Paul Kagame at the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 27, 2012.United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, center, joins hands with President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila Kabange, left, and President of Rwanda Paul Kagame at the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 27, 2012.
x
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, center, joins hands with President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila Kabange, left, and President of Rwanda Paul Kagame at the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 27, 2012.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, center, joins hands with President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila Kabange, left, and President of Rwanda Paul Kagame at the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 27, 2012.
Nick Long
The president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, walked out of a meeting at the United Nations on Thursday after Belgium’s foreign affairs minister referred to allegations that Rwanda has been backing rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  A mini-summit meeting called by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon failed to reach a consensus on Rwanda’s alleged role in a Congo rebellion.
 
The closed meeting on Central Africa was held on the fringes of the U.N. General Assembly and attended by 30 other heads of state and government besides Kagame, including Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila.
 
It's believed the U.N. secretary-general was hoping for a unanimous condemnation of external support for the M23 rebels in eastern Congo who defected from the Congolese army in April.
 
But Central Africa analyst Thierry Vircoulon of the International Crisis Group says the meeting failed to reach a consensus view on Rwanda’s alleged support for the rebels.

"Kabila and Kagame made cautious speeches and the meeting organized by Ban Ki-moon apparently did not lead to anything," he said. "And there was some kind of diplomatic incident -- when the Belgian foreign affairs minister mentioned Rwandan support for the rebellion, Kagame left the room."  
 
In fact, it is not clear whether the Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders mentioned Rwanda by name in this context at this meeting, but Belgium and a number of other countries have already expressed their disapproval for Kigali’s alleged role in the Congo rebellion.
 
Rwanda has repeatedly denied supporting M23.  And the Rwandan delegation in New York denied that President Kagame's walkout was a diplomatic incident, saying he just had another meeting to go to.
 
Vircoulon says attention will now turn to possible U.N. sanctions against Rwanda. 

"They’re waiting for the decision of the U.N. about the sanctions committee.  There were discussions in August and now they have to decide if they want to put the names of the officials in the experts' report on the sanctions list," he said.
 
A U.N. experts report has named Rwandan officials, including two generals, as being in close contact with the M23 during the opening stages of the rebellion.
 
The U.N. has publicly backed a plan for a neutral international force to be stationed along the DRC-Rwanda border to prevent any transit of men or munitions to help the rebels.
 
But Vircoulon argues that so far, the proposed force looks unlikely to achieve much.
 
"The force can’t be effective at all, because basically we’re talking about 4,000 men which is not much.  Secondly so far we’re talking about Tanzanians -- I haven’t heard of any other country committing troops.  And to monitor the border you need a lot of people on the ground and high tech equipment," said Vircoulon.
 
Vircoulon added that any new force for the Congo would have to compete for donor funding with a planned peackeeping force for Mali. And he pointed out that DRC already has 17,000 U.N. peacekeepers.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: doowap from: Netherlands
September 29, 2012 3:15 AM
This report is from someone who wasn't present and only trying to repeat what came out in Belgian press. The reality is that UNSG endorsed the initiative of the ICGLR and that UN will therefore support future development proposed by the regional country partners. Indeed Belgium and other "European" countries were keeping an accusing speech towards M23 and Rwanda, while the African countries had a speech on HOW to get over the crisis, not accusing at all against M23 and Rwanda. This all resulted in a funny situation where African leaders had position contradicting Europeans, rather a neocolonial attitude from Belgium. Rwanda has passed the stage to "wait" for the sanctions
In Response

by: Kingombe from: Kinshasa
September 29, 2012 4:57 PM
Doowab, you are right but by point of view , there should some sanctions against Rwanda as part of the solution of East DRC War. Supporting the African regional initiative it is alright but does not withdraw the condemnation of a country who has clearly support the M23 Rebels.

For durable solution and aiming to prevent future support of Rebels in DRC from Rwanda, Rwandans authorities has to be punished by the international community.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More