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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs