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

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs