News / Africa

    Rwanda Denies Supporting M23 in DRC, Cites 'Historical Reality'

    M23 rebel fighters celebrate in the rain at Rumangabo after government troops abandoned the town 23 kilometers north of the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 28, 2012.M23 rebel fighters celebrate in the rain at Rumangabo after government troops abandoned the town 23 kilometers north of the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 28, 2012.
    x
    M23 rebel fighters celebrate in the rain at Rumangabo after government troops abandoned the town 23 kilometers north of the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 28, 2012.
    M23 rebel fighters celebrate in the rain at Rumangabo after government troops abandoned the town 23 kilometers north of the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 28, 2012.
    Rwanda is rejecting United Nations allegations that it is backing a militia group in eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants an end to outside support for those rebel groups.

    Secretary-General Ban said the militia group known as M23 is consolidating its control over areas of Congo's North Kivu province.

    "Its members are raping, murdering and pillaging local populations as part of a campaign of terror," he said.

    In a meeting Thursday on the crisis, Ban said Congo's neighbors must abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibiting outside interference.

    "I am very concerned about continuing reports of external support for the M23. I call on all those responsible to end this destabilizing assistance. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC is inviolable and must be fully respected by all of the DRC's neighbors," said Ban.

    Charges and denials

    A U.N. report in June accused Rwandan defense officials of backing M23, prompting the United States and some European countries to suspend military assistance to Kigali.

    In a written statement following Thursday's U.N. meeting, Rwanda's government again denied those allegations, saying that solving the crisis will be impossible "if the international community continues to define the issue erroneously."

    The statement quotes President Paul Kagame as saying it is "perplexing" the degree to which the international community focuses on M23 at the expense of "much broader challenges," and warning that "externalizing" the crisis "effectively absolves blame from those with primary responsibility."

    His statement says the many armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo "are the outcome of a complex, long-standing historical reality. Therefore singling out one group out of many is running away from the actual issue."

    Asked if Kagame responded directly to the allegations in the closed session, U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said it is not for him to speak for any of the participants.

    "So you should ask them. But I do say that the overwhelming majority of participants did state their total opposition to any form of external support both to M23 and to the other armed groups," said Ladsous.

    Failure to reach consensus

    Thursday's session failed to produce a joint communique on the crisis, something that the United Kingdom Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds said is deeply regrettable because London sought a document that "not only correctly diagnosed the roots of today’s crisis, but also mapped out how all parties can work to end it."

    Simmonds said there is credible evidence of external support for M23, for which he said there can be no possible justification, whether it be military hardware or strategic advice.

    Human Rights Watch said the U.N. session failed to properly acknowledge Rwanda's continued military support for M23. So long as that support continues, said the rights group's United Nations director Philippe Bolopion, Congolese civilians will continue to bear the brunt of the fighting, regardless of how many summits the U.N. holds.

    On the sidelines of this week's General Assembly, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met together with Kagame and Congolese President Joseph Kabila. A senior State Department official said Clinton emphasized the need for an "honest and sustained dialogue" between the countries to find a solution that includes respecting territorial integrity and bringing to justice M23 leaders.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Liu Su Catherine from: China
    September 28, 2012 4:44 AM
    DRC crisis seems too complex!! But which count most, is it ongoing allegations to neighbouring countries, sanctions to Rwanda or lasting solution to the crisis? Thousands pleople are dying & IC just singing the ccusations song!

    In my view, if M 23 guys are raping, murdering and pillaging local populations, it sounds Rwanda is not involved coz its military is highly disciplined.
    In Response

    by: charmant from: seoul
    September 28, 2012 11:46 AM
    I fully agree with you guy. " if M 23 guys are raping, murdering and pillaging local populations, it sounds Rwanda is not involved coz its military is highly disciplined."
    Rwandan army does not act like that. And it does not have things to waste. People are not happy for the steps Rwanda is stepping to be a great Nation in the region.

    by: Ann Garrison from: Oakland, CA, USA
    September 27, 2012 11:14 PM
    It's hard to believe that President Kagame could be "perplexed" by these accusations, after 14 years of UN reports coming to essentially the same conclusion.

    by: McDonald from: Bukavu
    September 27, 2012 6:47 PM
    If tonight the militia group known as M23 is consolidating its control over areas of Congo's North Kivu province, one should ask Kigali if they think the territory is part of Rwanda or the D R Congo !!

    They think they are helping M23 in their own territory -- in the Ancient Rwandan Kingdom. Thus the President is not lying in his own mind...

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora