News / Africa

UN Backs Neutral Force for Great Lakes, Says Peacekeeping Chief

Displaced families walk past M23 rebels at Rumangabo, after government troops abandoned the town 23 km (14 miles) north of the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 28, 2012.
Displaced families walk past M23 rebels at Rumangabo, after government troops abandoned the town 23 km (14 miles) north of the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 28, 2012.
Nick Long
The head of United Nations peacekeeping operations says the U.N. is ready to help with the deployment of an neutral military force along the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.  The DRC has accused Rwanda of supporting the rebel group M23 in North Kivu province, a charge Rwanda denies. 
The idea of deploying a neutral international force along the border between Rwanda and DRC was adopted by Great Lakes countries at an African Union summit in July.
Now the U.N. Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, Hervé Ladsous, who’s on a visit to the DRC, has announced that the organization backs the proposal and wants to help make it a reality.
Speaking to the media in Goma on Tuesday, he said two things need to happen: an end to the hostilities and atrocities in North Kivu, and the DRC’s sovereignty has to be respected.
He said several ideas had been discussed and adopted at a summit meeting in Kampala last week, and with a mini-summit of leaders from the region planned in New York at the end of the month, those ideas should now be put into action.  In particular, he said, the idea of a neutral international force should be made operational, and the U.N. would be working on that with all its partners.
Eastern Congo’s North Kivu province has seen a widespread upsurge in violence since May when mutinying soldiers of the Congolese army declared a rebellion, which they are calling the M23 movement.
The peacekeeping chief was asked if the Congolese government should negotiate with M23.
He said that was for the government to decide but he added that some of those involved were liable to face international justice.
The government has said it will not negotiate with M23.
Ladsous stressed his willingness to work with the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region or ICGLR, the inter-governmental body representing twelve countries which is calling for help to deploy a neutral border force.
He said he had met with the executive secretary of the ICGLR on Sunday and they had had an extremely positive and extremely frank discussion, from which it followed they must work together.  He said that he would designate experts to help the ICGLR make its plan operational.
Ladsous added that the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo, known as MONUSCO, has been doing an incredible job.  He said the question of enlarging MONUSCO is for the U.N. Security Council to decide but the U.N. will have briefings and consultations and will see where the idea can go.

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.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

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
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.