News / Africa

UN Mission Head ‘Encouraged’ By DRC Peace Efforts

US Envoy Says M23 Decision To End Fighting Is First Step i
Pamela Dockins
November 06, 2013 5:20 AM
The U.S. special envoy for the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo has welcomed the M23 group’s announcement that it is ending its rebellion. The envoy, Russ Feingold, says he hopes the development is followed by the disarmament of other rebel groups in the region and political dialogue. VOA’s Pam Dockins has the story.
Watch related video from VOA's Pamela Dockins
Peter Clottey
The top official of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) says he is encouraged by the decision of M23 rebels to stop their rebellion to allow for peace talks between warring parties in restive North Kivu province.

Martin Kobler, who is also the special representative of the U.N. secretary-general to the DRC, expressed hope that the government and the M23 will soon sign a peace deal to end the conflict and to restore peace and stability.

His comments came after the M23 rebel group announced they are laying down their arms, after military forces drove them from their last remaining strongholds. This, after African heads of state and government called for an end in the DRC conflict following their meeting in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria.

“I have been very encouraged by this development, because it is really important, one with respect to the political process now tied to the Kampala agreement and then the forces of the M23 would be reintegrated in military or in civilian lives,” said Kobler.

He said MONUSCO will continue to keep its mandate to protect unarmed civilians from attack by armed groups in spite of the M23 decision to end its rebellion.

“This we take very seriously, but M23 is only one part of the problem. Eastern Congo is occupied by several armed groups who are terrorizing the population, committing atrocities and our mandate is to stop [them] with force even if it requires fighting,” said Kobler.    
Kobler says after a peace deal is signed in Uganda’s capital, Kampala,  the government in Kinshasa will need to re-establish law and order in areas that often come under rebel attack.  

Kobler, who recently visited the liberated M23 strongholds with the governor, emphasized the need for government officials to take steps to provide adequate security and much needed services to the people.

“We have this concept of creating islands of stability, but it’s the government which has to [reintroduce] state authority in these areas. This means in practical terms the police, stability, it means [the] army in the area, it means the judiciary system and the basic services like health and education,” said Kobler.

He also said the Kampala peace talks have been intensified to resolve other sticking points between the government and the M23.

“We witnessed these negotiations between the government and the M23 starting from 8 o’clock in the evening running through 9 o’clock the next morning,” said Kobler. “The problems are fixed, and the agreement has to be signed and that is why I am very glad that the M23 declared the end of the rebellion. This was the first step, and the government was responding positively to this declaration of the end of the rebellion.”
Clottey interview with Martin Kobler, Head of MONUSCO
Clottey interview with Martin Kobler, Head of MONUSCOi
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Richard walla from: Douala_ Cameroon
November 06, 2013 5:50 AM
In fact, it will be a positive step taken by the M23 rebels to drop down their arms for peace to reign in DRC. However, UN should ensure the rebels respect their engagement to drop their arms.

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs