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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
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 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 Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
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 Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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 Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
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