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.
TEXT SIZE - +
— 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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid