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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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