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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

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...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid