News / Africa

US Calls on Rwanda to Denounce Congolese Rebels

— The United States says Rwanda should denounce a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo that is accused of using rape and murder in a campaign of terror.  The United Nations says Rwandan defense officials are backing the militia.  Rwanda denies the allegation. 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is concerned about external support for the militia known as M23, which is consolidating its control over areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province.

A June U.N. report accused Rwandan defense officials of backing M23, prompting the United States and some European countries to suspend military assistance to Kigali.

Rwanda continues to deny those allegations, saying that solving the crisis in eastern Congo will be impossible if, in its words, "the international community continues to define the issue erroneously."

Johnnie Carson, U.S. assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, says it is time for Rwanda to distance itself from the group. "We would clearly like to see, at a very minimum, the government in Kigali denounce the activities of the M23.  They are, after all, a rebel group undermining the stability of a neighboring state," he said.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame says it is "perplexing" the degree to which the international community is focusing on M23 at the expense of what a written statement from the Rwandan government calls "much broader challenges," warning that "externalizing" the crisis "effectively absolves blame from those with primary responsibility."

President Kagame and Congolese President Laurent Kabila met together with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly last week.  Clinton emphasized the need for an "honest and sustained dialogue" that respects territorial integrity.

Assistant Secretary Carson says that Rwanda and Congo must work together. "It is important, absolutely important, for both of those countries and both of those leaders to reestablish confidence and trust which is not there today," he said.

President Kagame says the many armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo "are the outcome of a complex, long-standing historical reality.  Therefore, singling out one group out of many is running away from the actual issue" that Rwanda says includes the persecution of ethnic Tutsi.

The State Departments Johnnie Carson says the problems of eastern Congo do not justify backing the M23 rebels. "Yes, President Kabila has to take responsibility for his country.  But yes, the leadership in Rwanda must understand that it is important to be a good neighbor as well," he said.

Human Rights Watch says the United Nations is failing to properly acknowledge Rwanda's continued military support for M23.  As long as that support continues, the human rights group says, Congolese civilians will bear the brunt of the fighting.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hope from: US
October 01, 2012 6:29 PM
Laurent Kabila is dead since 2001; he could not be alive to meet Clinton in 2012!
The current RDC president who met Clinton is called Joseph Kabila!


by: Johnny
October 01, 2012 12:44 AM
More to the point, where are you and William Hague on Zimbabwe. This is the real question that is waiting for an
honest answer and which the UN, finds extremely to act upon.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid