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

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.