News / Africa

Uganda ‘Encouraged’ With DRC, M23 Peace Talks

Congolese M23 rebel leader Bisimwa Bertrand speaks to the media in Bunagana, Aug. 2, 2013.
Congolese M23 rebel leader Bisimwa Bertrand speaks to the media in Bunagana, Aug. 2, 2013.
Peter Clottey
Uganda says it is encouraged over the progress of the peace talks between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the M23 rebels.

“The government of Uganda is, so far, upbeat [and] is appreciative because both parties are present [and] they have set the ground rules, one of which is that the talks should proceed within two weeks,” said Ofwono Opondo, spokesman for Uganda’s government. “We hope we can iron out outstanding issues within those two weeks if need be, perhaps there could be extension.”

Opondo says both sides including a representation from the United Nations Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) have shown commitment during the renewed talks.

“They started yesterday and the whole of today and they haven’t come out, save for slight break during lunch and evening,” said Opondo.

He says Uganda is also encouraged by the decision of the two groups to continue with the talks despite existing differences.

“The mere fact that both parties agreed to come to Kampala to the negotiating table that was a good step, said Opondo. “There has been acrimony in the room but, nobody has stormed out of the meeting. And so we think all the sticking issues -- the roundtable is the place to iron out the sticking issues.”

Talks between the Congolese government and the rebels resumed after heads of state in Africa’s Great Lakes region demanded a resumption of the negotiations.

The African leaders, who met last week in Kampala to find ways of ending the conflict, demanded the talks begin within three days and end within 14 days.                                                         

Opondo says the government in Kampala hopes the M23 rebels will stop fighting the Congolese national army (FARDC) to give peace a chance as the talks continue.

“We expect that there would be no fighting, either provocation from M23 or the Congolese government, or indeed the U.N. force. We expect the guns to be silent,” said Opondo.

He says the ongoing talks are part of a process to help resolve the security crisis in the Congo.

“I don’t think these talks would resolve all of the issues in the DRC, because the issues in the DRC are larger,” said Opondo. “These particular talks surround M23 [and] the need for them to lay down their arms.”

Opondo said the talks also will deal with “the need for the Congolese government to accept them [M23], and if possible perhaps re-integrate the fighting forces into the main stream army; demobilization of those who want to surrender and go home and do other things, and the third issue is not giving amnesty to those who have been indicted with serious war crimes [and] crimes against humanity.”

The government in Kampala has urged the Congolese administration to find other measures to resolve the challenges the country faces, he said.      

“The first step is for the government of the DRC to ensure that it is accommodating, as democratic as they can,” said Opondo.

As for the M23 rebels, Opondo said, “Uganda cannot accept them back and Rwanda has said it won’t accept them, so the only way out for them is to accept a negotiated settlement which gives them safety, either back into government for those who want or to join, other private endeavors for those who don’t want to be party to government.”
Clottey interview with Ofwono Opondo, Uganda government spokesman
Clottey interview with Ofwono Opondo, Uganda government spokesmani
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: StopThem from: Rutshuru, Congo
September 13, 2013 4:23 PM
“We hope we can iron out outstanding issues within those two weeks if need be, perhaps there could be extension.”

--No, no extension of this waste of time, you had two years to "negotiate" even the Berlin conference did not take that long...Those talks are a waste of time and energy to allow the Rwanda army to get themselves and the M23 ready for the next battle.Two weeks is enough for the Kampala farce...


by: Anonymous
September 13, 2013 2:13 PM
The greed of Rwanda regime, Uganda regime and their M23 puppets or militia cannot be blamed on any foreign entity. It is just an example of backwardness in the region. SADC/UN/DRC need to take a very tough line. Kagame, Kabarebe, Museveni and their henchmen must not be allowed to continue trying to impose their whims on the region, especially DRC at the expense of the populations. Autocrat regimes cannot foster much progress, they are just self perpetuating and need to be reigned in from all sides of donors, AU, UN, SADC etc.

In Response

by: Musumba John Buckspitz from: Kampala - Uganda
September 15, 2013 8:43 AM
We have had enough of these people fellow readers and writers. If any present of these such as in the great lakes leave power democratically all these insurgencies of the Ntaganda's, M23 and Kony would not be. But imagine people ruling un endingly. This is what comes out in the struggle to stop their rule. The ICC should instead act out on these than the peace talks at hand. Museveni as the master mind of these governments MUST be ousted and his boys the Kagame, Kabila shall have some worry. I do not support these peace talks because they do not change government and the best they can cause is chaos in government like n Kenya and Zimbabwe where opposing leaders became big in united governments, and a secession like in the case of Sudan and South Sudan. I prefer heads rolling to make this end and it MUST end.


by: walla richard from: Douala_cameroon
September 13, 2013 12:13 PM
Africa is being manipulated all the time by the western nations for selfish reasons. This manipulation always centred around the power that be in order to exploit our natural resources to the maximum and rather our continent very poor.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid