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 Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs