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 Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More