News / Africa

    US, AU Want Action on Neutral Force for Rebel-Held Areas of Congo

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the media as African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, left, listens after their meeting at the Department of State in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the media as African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, left, listens after their meeting at the Department of State in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.
    x
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the media as African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, left, listens after their meeting at the Department of State in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the media as African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, left, listens after their meeting at the Department of State in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.
    VOA News
    The United States and the African Union want action on a neutral force to take charge of areas controlled by Congolese rebels near the border with Rwanda. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Rwanda must help block support for that rebellion.
     
    Rebels in a group known as M23 say they are preparing to give up control of the eastern Congolese city of Goma. But U.S. officials say it is too soon to determine whether that movement is a withdrawal or simply a military redeployment. 
     
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the only way forward for those rebels is to keep to the terms of a deal reached in Uganda.
     
    "They must meet their commitments under the Kampala accords to cease their attacks, withdraw from Goma and pull back to the July lines," she said. 
     

    As part of that deal, Congolese President Joseph Kabila, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Rwandan President Paul Kagame agreed on a neutral force to take charge of rebel areas.
     
    That is complicated by the widely held view that Rwanda is the chief supporter of the M23 rebellion, an allegation that Rwanda denies.
     
    Following talks with Secretary Clinton at the State Department Wednesday, African Union Chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said getting regional leaders to help stop the fighting is more important than assigning blame. 
     
    "They have taken a decision that there must be a neutral force there. And Rwanda was there. It supported that decision. That M23 must move out of Goma. Rwanda was there. It supported that decision. So for us that's what is important," she said. 
     
    Secretary Clinton says all leaders must block efforts to resupply the rebellion.
     
    "We have consistently called on all parties, including Rwanda, to play a positive role in helping to bring about a peaceful resolution of this conflict. And that includes ending any and all support for the M23. Any military assistance from anyone to the M23 is in violation of the U.N. arms embargo," she said. 
     
    The United States has been reluctant to accuse Rwanda of backing the rebellion. Human Rights Watch deputy Washington director Sarah Margon says it is time for the Obama administration to try a different approach.
     
    "That strategy has failed. We've seen the M23 not only take over Goma, but we've seen them march north. We see them continuing to stay put. We see a potentially weakening President Kabila in Kinshasa," she said. 
     
    She says calling Rwanda out for supporting M23 will not resolve the crisis in Eastern Congo, but it is an important first step.
     
    "Rwanda does need to be a part of the conversation. But they also need to understand that they can't continue doing what they've been doing. It's simply unacceptable," she said. 
     
    Fighting in Eastern Congo has displaced more than 285,000 people over the last eight months, creating what Secretary Clinton calls a devastating humanitarian situation with health workers in Goma killed and abducted.
     
    "Members of civil society, human rights activists, judicial authorities throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo have received death threats. The United States strongly condemns these tactics of fear and intimidation. And those who abuse human rights must be held accountable," she said. 
     
    Human Rights Watch's Margon says it's a very worrisome human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and her group does not see it getting any better any time soon.
     

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: AU Chair
    November 29, 2012 11:52 AM
    Please remember the 2008 Elections in Zimbabwe and the consequences.

    by: David from: Washington DC
    November 29, 2012 10:47 AM
    The UN is neutral force with 17.000 troops deployed in Eastern of Congo but they failed to bring solution because no leadership responsible in DRC. Add another neutral force is it good idea?? No I don't think so. In my view DRC needs: first a new leadership, second new army, third community international has to review their foreign policy and trade agreement toward DRC and give loan to build rail road and pipe line from Eastern Congo to western Congo in terminal port Banana which it allows this country controlled import-export minerals, petroleum and other resources and attract investment. The UN reports many times with evidence that this rebellion is Rwanda and Uganda Army which they try to loot “blood” mineral of Congo.

    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.