News / Africa

Rwandan Support for Rebels Frustrates Attempts to End Fighting in Eastern Congo

African Leaders Grapple With Fighting in Eastern Congoi
X
September 26, 2013 4:34 AM
Fighters from Congo's M23 rebellion are the biggest challenge to government troops and U.N. peacekeepers in the eastern Kivu provinces. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said earlier this week that rebel attacks include violence against women and children.
African Leaders Grapple With Fighting in Eastern Congo
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the attacks being carried out by rebels in Eastern Congo against civilians "appalling". African heads of state met at the United Nations to discuss the conflict, which the United States says Rwanda is fueling by backing those rebels.
 
Fighters from Congo's M23 rebellion are the biggest challenge to government troops and U.N. peacekeepers in the eastern Kivu provinces of the Congo.
 
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said earlier this week that the rebel attacks include violence against women and children.
 
"The extent of violence and human suffering in eastern DRC is overwhelming. I deplore the recent military activities of the M23 and the other armed groups in eastern DRC," said Ban.
 
African leaders meeting at the United Nations are backing peace talks in Uganda, but the talks are complicated by persistent reports of Rwandan support for the rebels. The United States is among those who have called on Rwanda to stop their support.
 
"We reiterate our call for Rwanda to cease any and all support to the M23 and to respect DRC’s territorial integrity, consistent with UN Security Council resolutions," said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.
 
By publicly accusing a U.S. ally of backing the M23 rebels, the Obama administration is making a bold move, says Sarah Margon of Human Rights Watch.
 
"They've told the Rwandans we're putting you on notice. But what next? And so if the Rwandans don't stop, what will the U.S. be willing to do?" wondered Margon.
 
Rwandan President Paul Kagame denies involvement and says the international community shouldn't focus on M23 rebels when there are so many other groups contributing to instability in the eastern regions of the Congo.
 
The peace talks in Kampala have focused on other armed groups as well.
 
In an interview with VOA, U.S. Special Envoy to the region Russ Feingold said that focusing on all the involved groups is the only way forward.
 
"Whatever happens with the Kampala talks, the framework and the peace process involving the countries in the region goes on and will deal with the root and fundamental problems, not just the issue of M23," said Feingold.
 
Nonetheless, achieving the more immediate goal of stopping the fighting requires focusing on the M23, said Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa.
 
"M23 should put an end to all military activities and stop war and threats of overthrowing the lawful government of the DRC," Kutesa declared.
 
President Joseph Kabila's troops are moving to re-establish central authority over eastern Congo, but Margon expects no end to challenges in the area. 
 
"Without Rwanda ceasing to provide support for the M23, many of the other elements, whether it be the upcoming elections in Congo, Congo's extension of governing authority in the east, regional development, are not going to be able to happen," said Margon.
 
In the past, the rebels have been integrated into Congo's military as part of an attempt at reconciliation. This time around, Congolese officials say the worst of the M23 leaders will not be granted amnesty in any new peace deal.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid