News / Africa

US Legislators Seek Action on Rwanda for Supporting of DR Congo Rebels

M23 rebel fighters sit on a truck as they prepare to withdraw near the town of Sake, 42 kilometers west of Goma in eastern Congo, November 30, 2012.M23 rebel fighters sit on a truck as they prepare to withdraw near the town of Sake, 42 kilometers west of Goma in eastern Congo, November 30, 2012.
x
M23 rebel fighters sit on a truck as they prepare to withdraw near the town of Sake, 42 kilometers west of Goma in eastern Congo, November 30, 2012.
M23 rebel fighters sit on a truck as they prepare to withdraw near the town of Sake, 42 kilometers west of Goma in eastern Congo, November 30, 2012.
Cindy Saine
A number of U.S. lawmakers are calling on the Obama administration to take tougher action on Rwanda for supporting the M23 rebels who are terrorizing civilians in the eastern Congo.  The Africa, Global Health and Human Rights Subcommittee held a hearing on the eastern Congo crisis Tuesday.

U.S. Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary, the Bureau of African Affairs at the State Department, testified about how serious the situation is for residents of eastern Congo since M23 rebels rebelled against the government and took control of the eastern region in April.

"The security and humanitarian situation in the Congo is the most volatile in Africa today," Carson said.

Carson said five million people have died in inter-ethnic violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1997.  Carson said there is a credible body of evidence from the United Nations and other sources that the Rwandan government is aiding the M23 rebels, and called on Rwanda to cease any such support.

Subcommittee chairman Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, said successive U.S. administrations have neglected to take a tough stand on Rwanda, due to U.S. regret about not stopping the genocide there in 1994.

"We must overcome our regret over what happened 18 years ago.  As an NGO letter to President Obama points out, the United States is not out of step with our European allies, who have cut aid to Rwanda because of their interference in the DRC," Smith said.

His Republican colleague, Congressman Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, was even more forceful in his criticism, asking Carson how long the Obama administration was going to try to negotiate with the leaders of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda while civilians continue to be killed.

"How many people have to die before you stop the negotiations and get serious about this?," Marino said.

Carson said that the U.S. government has to be patient and to continue to press the involved governments to see reason and to put an end to the violence.  He stressed that the United States has taken action.

"We cut off our foreign military financing to the Rwandan government, one of the first such public acts by any government," Carsons said.

Analysts say they fear it will be hard to get a peace deal in talks scheduled between Congolese President Joseph Kabila and the M23 rebels, and that more civilians will die or be displaced.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ron from: kansas
December 16, 2012 2:42 PM
It is very disturbing to WITNESS the application of simplistic solutions to a complex problem by none other the "United Nations". The solution to the M23 problem lies with the Congolese government (not Rwanda or Uganda). You continue to underestimate the lethality of a people under the threat of extinction. The Congolese government transfered 55 officers and men to units in different parts of the country and they were summarily executed; the M23 revolted and broke away to protect themselves and their families from a genocidal government. But the media doesnt look at this side of the story. The Congolese regime is simply a murderous and corrupt regime. Is Rwanda really involved in M23 issues or Is it just the presence of congolese Tutsi commanders in M23 that happens to be an itching coincidence? Does it occur to you that this can be a blame game that covers the failure of the UN Force to manage the crisis? Lets re-think this through, this time critically !! Otherwise, we will get it wrong again.


by: Lusamba from: Canada
December 12, 2012 8:00 PM
I don't know if it's out of sheer ignorance or just incompetence but how can you assert that 5 million people have died following ethnic violence while writing that US Senators are calling for sanctions against Rwanda? How is Rwanda backing, arming and providing logistics for the so-called rebels inter-ethnic violence? Seriously?!


by: David from: Washington DC
December 12, 2012 6:24 PM
M23 and Kabila is same tribe, philosophy and depend on theirs roots Uganda&Rwanda, not to Congolese Institution and value. The both of them have been betraying DRC since 2007. So we don’t trust to this meeting between enemies of Congo. DRC needs a new leadership who can unify Congolese, visionary, stand for democracy& human right and supported reliable trade between USA-DRC-EU.

In Response

by: jbhadiya from: MA
December 16, 2012 5:01 PM
David you made a good point,but you should give it a happy ending.
Let the Congolese deal with their problem,thru their institutions and leave the rest of the neighbors alone. They have to admit that they have a problem in the 1st place,they need to understand their problem and look for ways to solve it.
Thanks

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid