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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid