News / Africa

Rwandan Envoy Urges DRC, UN to Tackle FDLR Rebels

FILE - A fighter from the FDLR rebel group, which is being hunted by the Rwandan and Congolese armies, stands guard deep in the bush of eastern Congo.
FILE - A fighter from the FDLR rebel group, which is being hunted by the Rwandan and Congolese armies, stands guard deep in the bush of eastern Congo.
Margaret Besheer
As the Congolese rebel group M23 began surrendering its weapons Wednesday, neighboring Rwanda called for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to turn its attention to tackling another rebel group.

Rwanda’s U.N. Ambassador Eugene Gasana told reporters that the Congolese army and the nearly 20,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission, known as MONUSCO, must now turn its attention to eliminating a nearly two decades-old scourge: the Hutu rebel group known as the FDLR (Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda), which operates in eastern Congo.

“They should have done this some years ago. I hope that this time they will tackle the FDLR. They have to. Otherwise, I won’t let them sleep,” he said. 

The United Nations has accused Rwanda of supporting the now defeated M23 rebels in Congo, a charge it denies. The Rwandan government in turn said the DRC supported the FDLR, which is made up of Hutu rebels involved in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.

Rwanda’s envoy said his country was ready to retaliate, should the FDLR act against it.

The DRC's U.N. ambassador, Ignace Gata, acknowledged that the FDLR is a cause for concern to his government.  He said military offensives against the group were put on hold because the army had to deal with the M23 rebellion.

Ambassador Gata said now that the M23 rebellion was over, the government would return to the issue of the FDLR. He said Kinshasa would eradicate all of the armed groups that exist in eastern Congo, including the FDLR, the ADF-Nalu and others.

French Ambassador Gérard Araud told reporters after a Security Council meeting Wednesday that there was general consensus among the 15 members that the FDLR must be dealt with.  He said the success against the M23 was only the beginning for this region.

“The M23 combatants must now be disarmed. The Congolese administration needs to get back to the areas which have been just recovered and provide basic services to the population. All other armed groups, beside the M23, which threaten civilians in the Kivus need to be neutralized,” he said.

As for the Kampala peace talks between Kinshasa and the M23 which were suspended on October 21, the French envoy said the DRC government was hesitating to sign an agreement, now that the rebellion was crushed. But he said some sort of understanding between the two sides would be formalized.

Congo’s ambassador confirmed this, saying Kinshasa wanted to complete the Kampala talks and in the coming days would sign a “document” with the M23.

The M23 was formed last April by about 300 former members of the CNDP rebel group who had joined the army following a March 23, 2009 peace agreement. 

The rebels-turned-soldiers decided to become rebels again, saying the government had failed to fulfill that agreement and was treating them poorly.  Last November, the rebels seized and briefly held the provincial capital of Goma in North Kivu.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid