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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid