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

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe 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.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs