News / Africa

UN Still Concerned About Armed Groups in Eastern Congo

FILE - U.N. special envoy to Congo, Martin Kobler, addresses troops outside Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Aug. 31, 2013.
FILE - U.N. special envoy to Congo, Martin Kobler, addresses troops outside Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Aug. 31, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
The U.N.’s top envoy in the Democratic Republic of Congo warned Monday that despite progress, the presence of armed groups in the country's east is still too strong.

U.N. envoy Martin Kobler said the momentum must be kept up against M23 and other rebel groups in eastern Congo.

In a briefing to the U.N. Security Council, Kobler said the international community should not tolerate any military reemergence of the M23.

“There are credible reports that the military recruitment of the M23 did not cease after the Nairobi declarations.  There are also credible reports of emerging M23 activities in Ituri in northeastern Congo,” he said.

Last month in Nairobi, M23 leaders signed a peace deal with the Congolese government that formally ended their rebellion.

Kobler cautioned that the Rwandan Hutu group FDLR, and the Islamist Ugandan group, Allied Democratic Forces - or ADF -- also posed a serious threat to Congolese civilians.

“The ADF still terrorizes civilians in Ituri, northeastern Congo.  For example, on 13 December, in an ADF-controlled area, 21 bodies, including the bodies of eight babies, very young children and pregnant women were found dead, mutilated and some beheaded,” he said.

Regarding the FDLR, he said military pressure must be applied so their fighters have no choice but to come out of the bush and surrender.

The envoy noted that some 8,000 combatants from various Congolese armed groups have surrendered and need to be quickly reintegrated into society.

Kobler summed up the position of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in the DRC.

“We are not in the DRC to react, but to act; we are not there to deter but to prevent; and we do not only keep the peace, we must make peace a long-term reality,” he said.

Kobler said the mission, known by its acronym MONUSCO, was finalizing a review of where its more than 21,000 troops and police were deployed across the fragile, conflict areas of the eastern Congo, in order to make the force more flexible and ready to deploy quickly when and where it was needed.

The mission has also begun using unarmed drones for surveillance.

Kobler praised the Congolese army, saying it has become more effective and operational, its discipline improved and the chain of command streamlined.  The force is also better equipped and more regularly paid.  He said all of these factors had been crucial to the military success against the M23.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid