News / Africa

UN Security Council Calls for Sanctions on DRC Spoilers

M23 rebels guard weapons given to them by the government's army in Goma November 21, 2012.
M23 rebels guard weapons given to them by the government's army in Goma November 21, 2012.
Margaret Besheer
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling for sanctions against rebel leaders in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as other spoilers in the region. 

Who Are the M23 Rebels?

  • Named for March 23, the date of a 2009 peace deal
  • Contains fighters once loyal to a rebel army who assimilated into the DRC army, then defected
  • Formed in early 2012
  • Dominated by the Tutsi ethnic group
  • Also known as the Congolese Revolutionary Army
  • UN experts say the group is backed by Rwanda, which Rwanda denies
The M23 rebels are mainly Congolese army defectors who have become firmly entrenched in the North Kivu region. A group of about 3,000 rebels advanced toward the regional capital, Goma, in recent days. On Tuesday, they moved into the city of nearly 1 million people.

The 15-nation Security Council adopted Resolution 2076, which was drafted by France and condemns attacks by the M23 rebels and demands their immediate withdrawal from Goma. It also expresses the Council’s intention to consider additional targeted sanctions against M23 leaders and those providing external support to the armed group.

​A U.N. panel of experts monitoring sanctions on the DRC has accused neighboring Rwanda of providing material support to the group, a charge Kigali denies. Tuesday’s resolution does not mention Rwanda by name. But during the Security Council meeting, DRC envoy Seraphin Ngwej reiterated his government’s conviction that Rwanda is supporting the M23, particularly in its advance on Goma.

"The operations that led to the fall of Goma have benefited from remarkable planning and sufficient resupply, and particularly night vision equipment. This is material that neither the armed forces of the DRC nor MONUSCO have in their arsenals, unlike Rwanda. Even air defense equipment was used against combat helicopters of the armed forces of the DRC and those of MONUSCO," said Seraphin Ngwej.

  • M23 rebels guard weapons given to them by the government's army, Goma, DRC, November 21, 2012.
  • A Congo government policeman hands in his weapon to M23 rebels during an M23 rally in Goma, DRC, November 21, 2012.
  • Congo government policemen, foreground, and civilians gather during a M23 rally in Goma, Congo, November 21, 2012.
  • A M23 fighter, wearing a belt of ammunition, walks down a street in Goma, after the rebels captured the city from the government army, November 20, 2012.
  • People walk the streets of Goma, DRC during a lull in the fighting, November 20, 2012. (VOA 100 Citoyens journalistes de RD Congo)
  • M23 rebels in the streets of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 rebels enter Goma, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 rebels celebrating their takeover of Goma, DRC, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 spokesperson Lt. Col. Vianney Kazarama entering Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)
  • M23 Rebels patrolling in Goma, DRC, November 20, 2012. (A. Malivika/VOA)

MONUSCO is the French acronym by which the 17,000-member U.N. peacekeeping force is known.

Rwanda’s representative at the meeting, Olivier Nduhungirehe, dismissed the accusations and said it is time for dialogue - but between the right parties.

“Because if we’ve learned anything from this war and the fall of Goma, [it] is that a military solution is a failure that will not work, there needs to be a dialogue - but not a dialogue between the wrong people - it needs to be between the Congolese and those fighting in the DRC.”

Human rights groups have been very critical of Rwanda’s alleged support for rebels in the mineral-rich eastern Congo. Human Rights Watch’s U.N. Director Philippe Bolopion said after the vote that the resolution falls short because it fails to name “Rwandan officials known by the U.N. to have supported M23’s atrocities.” He said if the Security Council wants to protect civilians in Goma, it needs to send a clearer message to Kigali.

The United States, which has been criticized for protecting Rwanda, urged dialogue among the parties. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said Tuesday that Washington thinks "Rwanda has got to be part of the solution," and that the government should use its influence to demilitarize the situation and get the M23 to pull back.

The U.N. said Tuesday that MONUSCO remains in control of the Goma airport. The mission has about 1,500 troops in Goma. They are conducting patrols and helicopter missions as part of their effort to protect civilians.

MONUSCO said reports indicate the M23 has wounded civilians, abducted children and women, destroyed property and intimidated journalists and individuals who have attempted to resist their control.

The Congolese army has been battling rebels in the eastern DRC for the past several months, displacing scores of civilians fleeing the violence.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Satan Bima Kamudila Matat from: Bunia Ituri
November 24, 2012 5:19 AM
We appreciate the effort of UN in DRC,but our dead Government which will not take chance of its people how ever much the world want to guide them from this little gap of their escape.With M23 people are quiet.UN should be the right referees other than supporting killers who are killing our people,physically, spiritually,and morally.


by: Joe Flomo Matthew from: Cleveland, Ohio USA
November 22, 2012 10:02 AM
The performances or lack thereof of the UN in Goma and other places showed that it should get out of the business of military peacekeeping. If the UN cannot fight fire with fire, it should not put the lives of the innocents in harms way. Sending bunch of "blue helmet" to a war zone with mandates not to fight is rediculous. Rebels understand one thing, kill or be killed. One can only imagine the miseries and deaths government officials and supporters are going through in hands of the rebels in Goma.

Thanks....

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid