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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.