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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
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 Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
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 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.

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