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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

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