News / Africa

US Calls on Rwanda to End M23 Support

M23 rebels sit in a vehicle as they withdraw from the eastern Congo town of Goma, Dec. 2012 file photo.
M23 rebels sit in a vehicle as they withdraw from the eastern Congo town of Goma, Dec. 2012 file photo.
The Obama administration wants Rwanda to stop backing Congolese rebels who are undermining efforts to end decades of violence in East Africa's Great Lakes region.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Tuesday said the country needs to cut off the Democratic Republic of Congo's M23 rebellion, whose fighting with government troops has driven a new wave of refugees into border towns.

The announcement comes two days before Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to chair a special session of the U.N. Security Council on the Great Lakes regional conflict.

"We call upon Rwanda to immediately end any support to the M23, withdraw military personnel from eastern DRC, and follow through on its commitments under the framework," she said, referring to a regional framework for ending the crisis that has been weakened by Rwanda's support for the rebels.

"M23's renewed fighting seriously undermines regional and international efforts to peacefully resolve the situation in eastern DRC."

Psaki also cited a Human Rights Watch investigation saying Rwanda has provided ammunition, food and training to the rebels while allowing M23 leaders to recruit inside Rwanda, including among demobilized Rwandan soldiers.

Psaki called findings of the report by the New York-based rights group, which were published Monday, "a very powerful case."

The United States has largely avoided publicly accusing Rwanda of backing M23 rebels, despite allegations by the United Nations and European allies. Washington did suspend military assistance to Kigali following a U.N. report last June that linked Rwandan defense officials to the group.

Tuesday's statement represents Washington’s first response to recent M23 clashes with the Congolese military near Goma, and that it did not directly implicate Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a U.S. ally.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined in a U.N. meeting on M23 at last year's General Assembly that diplomats have since described as highly critical of Rwanda's involvement.

In a written statement following that session, Rwanda's government denied the allegations, saying that resolving the crisis in Congo would be impossible "if the international community continues to define the issue erroneously."

The statement quoted Kagame as finding "perplexing" the degree to which the international community focuses on M23 at the expense of "much broader challenges." It warned that "singling out one group out of many is running away from the actual issue."

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Mulumba Paul
July 24, 2013 11:47 AM
OK,so The State Dept finally acknowledge publicly that Rwanda is involved in The Congo. For the record,the whole world except Kagame and his henchmen have known this for a long time now. So to The State Department, to Secretary Kerry in particular, what are you going to do about it? Your credibility is on the line. To the UN: what are you going to do about it since Rwanda sits in the Security Council? I suggest they be suspended from the Security Council and all aids from the US and their allies to Rwanda be suspended until there are third party credible evidences that Rwanda has stopped their meddling and human rights abuses in Congo.Otherwise, The State Department and the UN may not be looked upon seriously as they support an aggressor country.
In Response

by: Kadogi sam
July 25, 2013 11:01 AM
I think Congoleses have problems, instead of solving your own problems you are waiting for solution from Washington!! If you are sure that Rwanda has attacked your Country, it is your right to defend yourselves. Just attack rwanda. And you will show evidence.
In Response

July 24, 2013 10:06 PM
Good points & questions you raise. I hope action is taken, The region has really suffered from this adventurism by regional war lords that are way too greedy. Rwanda and Uganda leader have war mentality and with them around there will be constant trouble. Action needs to be taken to have proper democracy in Rwanda, Uganda and DRC and UN must stop Rwanda & Uganda from send their militias-they call army, to interfere in DRC under flimsy excuses.

by: Kabongo from: Lincoln - Usa
July 23, 2013 9:22 PM
Anyone knows kagame's tactic. Like he said: ""singling out one group out of many is running away from the actual issue." He will end support to M23 but He will create and arm others rebels.
He did with RCD, CNDP, M23, Bosco Ntagada, Thomas Lubanga...
In Response

by: Oxen from: Mars
July 24, 2013 9:58 PM
Stern action needs to be taken on Rwanda and Uganda. If necessary to remove the regimes in the same way Tanzania helped remove Idi Amin when he attacked and plundered Kagera. The region is fed up with the mischievous character of these two regimes in Kigali and Kampala. SADC and UN can help to push for this. These regimes are entrenching themselves in home nations and extending their backward and manipulation across borders and that needs to be stopped by all means. The denials by Kampala and Kigali are totally meaningless the track record of the leader there speak for themselves. They lie all the time , just too greedy and have no ability to help progress i the region, but the just cause chaos constantly. US can help a lot here because these regimes play puppet, but US needs to shake off such dusty regimes that are pretty much of little. Good governance is better for all in the long run--not greedy autocrats that manipulate constitutions to stay in power.
In Response

by: kagabo from: USA
July 24, 2013 5:09 AM
Those Kinyarwanda-speaking people are Congolese by origin, expelling them from Congo would be impossible...better DRC negotiates with them and achieve peace permanently.

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.
Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syriai
November 26, 2015 5:21 AM
Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs