News / Africa

UN Envoy Says M23 Is Weakened Militarily in Eastern Congo

Congolese soldiers move to frontline positions as they advance against the M23 rebels in Kibumba, north of Goma October 27, 2013.   REUTERS/Kenny Katombe (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTX14QPU
Congolese soldiers move to frontline positions as they advance against the M23 rebels in Kibumba, north of Goma October 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kenny Katombe (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTX14QPU
Margaret Besheer
— The U.N. Security Council met Monday to discuss the situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where fighting between M23 rebels and the army flared over the past few days, resulting in the death of one U.N. peacekeeper and the displacement of several thousand Congolese.

France called for the meeting Monday after clashes resumed Friday between rebels and the Congolese army, following the suspension of peace talks in Uganda.

The U.N. Mission in Congo, MONUSCO, reported that the situation in North Kivu remained tense on Monday, but that fighting between M23 and the Congolese army had stopped.

French Ambassador Gérard Araud told reporters that the U.N. envoy in Congo, Martin Kobler, said the M23 has been severely weakened militarily. Kobler briefed the Security Council by video link from Kinshasa.

“Basically he told us we are witnessing the military end of the M23. I think this is a positive development. There was a general agreement that now we should go back to the table of negotiation in Kampala," said Araud.

Two other diplomats said Kobler was careful to put the end of M23 in the conditional, saying "in the coming days we might witness the military end of the M23."

When peace talks in Kampala were suspended last Monday, the U.N. said agreement had been reached on eight of 11 issues, but that there still was no consensus on amnesty, integration, disengagement and security arrangements.

Regarding media reports that quoted the governor of North Kivu as saying mass graves were found as the army performed cleanup operations as it left Kibumba, 25 kilometers north of Goma, Ambassador Araud said the U.N.’s Kobler confirmed those reports.

“He said that they discovered two mass graves. But apparently the remains are not recent, so they are not the result of the last days of fighting. So they need to have forensic investigation to know what is the origin of the victims and when the apparent massacre has been conducted," he said.

The U.N. mission says that, after two days of fighting, the army took control of the towns of Kiwanja and Rutshuru, and were continuing clearing operations east and southeast of the area on Monday.

On Sunday, a Tanzanian peacekeeper assigned to the Intervention Brigade, working to neutralize armed groups in the area, was shot and killed by an M23 fighter during the clashes. In a statement, the U.N. Security Council condemned the M23 attacks that led to the peacekeeper’s death.

Great Lakes Special Envoy Mary Robinson and the U.N.’s Kobler have called on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to return to negotiations.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
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 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 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 Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
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.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid