News / Africa

UN Great Lakes Envoy to Address Rwanda Role in DRC Crisis

U.N. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region Mary Robinson (R) flanked by U.N. special envoy to Congo Martin Kobler (L) address a news conference at the MONUSCO offices in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Sept. 2, 2013.
U.N. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region Mary Robinson (R) flanked by U.N. special envoy to Congo Martin Kobler (L) address a news conference at the MONUSCO offices in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Sept. 2, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
The United Nations envoy to the Great Lakes region says she will be direct with Kigali about evidence of Rwandan support for the M23 rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Mary Robinson also hopes the recent military advances against the rebels will create a window for a political solution to the crisis

Robinson arrived Monday in Goma, the economic hub of eastern DRC, as part of a diplomatic tour of the region. Her visit follows nearly two weeks of fighting between Congolese armed forces and the M23 rebels on the outskirts of the city. She is due to attend a September 5 summit in Kampala of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region [ICGLR], which will bring together regional leaders to discuss the conflict.

Rwanda, a member of the conference, has been accused of supporting the M23 rebels, a group made up of former rebel soldiers who defected from the Congolese army last year.

Direct talks

Speaking to reporters in Goma, Robinson said she is prepared to address the issue directly with Rwanda. “I do not say one thing in Goma and another thing in Rwanda. I say tough things, especially to people who need to hear those tough things directly. And I am prepared to speak very truthfully, but also to continue to engage with Rwanda, because that is my role and my responsibility,” she said.

The U.N. Group of Experts has published evidence linking Rwanda to the rebels, and the United States has called on Kigali to end its support. Rwanda has repeatedly denied any ties to M23.

Other foreign envoys, including Boubacar Diarra of the African Union and Russ Feingold from the United States, are due to join Robinson on her tour of the region, which includes a stop in Rwanda.

MONUSCO muscle

A new U.N. intervention brigade, part of the U.N. peacekeeping force MONUSCO, was seen as being instrumental in helping the Congolese army push the rebels to beyond striking distance from Goma.

Robinson said she supports MONUSCO’s aggressive operations, which she sees as having opened up a chance for dialogue.

“What I see as being valuable is that there is now potentially a window for the political discussions,” she said.

Robinson also said she would like to see the renewal of the Kampala talks between the Congolese government and M23. Those talks fell apart as fighting intensified during the past few months.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Federation from: Arusha
September 03, 2013 5:13 AM
Talks is the only viable solution for our region. Thanks to Mrs Robinson for endorsing this.
I can't wait by the way to see her evidence for Rwanda's implication in this instability!
In Response

by: Simon from: Copenhagen
September 04, 2013 5:36 AM
Yes, but Rwanda's security concerns should be equally taken into consideration.

by: Oxen
September 02, 2013 9:59 PM
Talks need to be moved to Tanzania. Kampala is not neutral because the regime there supports and facilitates rebel groups including M23. . Most of the time Kampala talks are for stalling to give rebels time to cause mayhem later when the UN mandate is over. At that time one will hear how Rwanda and Uganda regimes will make a lot of noise on how the UN/SADC intervention brigade failed .Rwanda's ruling junta especially senior army officers directly profit from looting or plunder of DRC, they need to be indicted for war crimes committed by their forces and punished for the rampant plunder and fanning mayhem due to immense greed, disrespect for human life and violating DRC sovereignty

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

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