News / Africa

US, UN Urge Congolese, Rwandan Restraint

DRC's Joseph Kabila, right, flanked by Uganda's Yoweri Museveni and Rwanda's Paul Kagame, left, at news conference, Kampala Nov. 21, 2012 file photo.
DRC's Joseph Kabila, right, flanked by Uganda's Yoweri Museveni and Rwanda's Paul Kagame, left, at news conference, Kampala Nov. 21, 2012 file photo.
Nick Long
United States special envoy to the Great Lakes region of Africa, former senator Russ Feingold, and United Nations counterpart Mary Robinson are in Rwanda on the last leg of a four-day trip to promote peace in the region.
Sounding upbeat about peace prospects and warning all sides against further military action, their joint visit came as Great Lakes regional leaders agreed this week that peace talks between the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government and M23 rebels should resume in Kampala within days.
DRC President Joseph Kabila, whose army, with help from the United Nations, successfully pushed M23 fights roughly 18 miles (30 kilometers) from the eastern city of Goma last week, is now in a stronger military position than it has been for some time, but he has committed to restarting the talks.
Addressing a news conference in Kigali, Feingold said he has been pushing Kinshasa to seek dialogue rather than take further military action.
"I specifically urged President Kabila to use restraint," he said. "We do not encourage any attempt by anybody, including the government of Congo, to solve this in a military way. There will not be a military solution."
Robinson, the U.N. secretary-general’s special envoy to the region, emphasized commitments by Kabila and fellow regional heads of state to conclude Kampala quickly with a peace deal.
"President Kabila participated together with four other heads of state and all the other delegations, and they decided together that there should be a short period of continuation of the Kampala dialogue, because it was felt that actually it could be concluded — after three days [or] within two weeks," she said. "I was in the room when it was taken together by the heads of state."
DRC information minister Lambert Mende has said his government wants to resolve the conflict via talks, but he has also stressed the need for M23 to disarm, because — as he put it — the government cannot negotiate with rebels while they are killing people in eastern Congo.
Robinson was then asked if there is a disarmament deadline for M23 fighters.
"We hope that the Kampala talks, if they conclude well, will immediately provide a process for disarmament," she said. "There’s no timeline for it, but it should start very quickly."
Asked if they are satisfied by Rwanda’s assurances it is not providing cross-border support to DRC-based M23, the envoys said they raised the issue of support for armed rebel groups — for M23 as well as Rwandan rebels FDLR and Ugandan rebels ADF-NALU — in each capital they visited in the past four days.

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Pat Omalley from: Dallas, TX
September 09, 2013 10:17 AM
The talks if any should be between DR Congo government on one side and Kagame and Museveni on the other side. The M23 is a fabrication of Rwanda just as the RCD or CNDP was. The "Kampala Talks" should not go beyond the 2 weeks deadlines as they are now being used by Rwanda to resupply the M23 with supplies and Rwandan troops. Kagame and his regime have turned out to be the biggest trouble maker and obstacle to peace in the region and that should not be celebrated in Washington or London

by: Anonymous
September 08, 2013 10:27 PM
UN/SADC/AU/DRC do not need to be fooled again by Rwanda and Uganda claims. These fellows keep bringing up excuses for attacking DRC. The problem of rebels to their nations does not warrant Rwanda and Uganda setting up and supporting M23. US can advise, but US is sympathetic to Rwanda and that is why Kagame is big headed.

The Intervention brigade needs to deal with the rebels decisively otherwise these regimes will keep causing trouble and fooling everyone around. Kabarebe, Kagame and Museveni need to be fully reigned in because since 1990's they have made DRC suffer with perpetual conflicts using excuses of ADF and FLDR to invade DRC and plunder. US envoy to Africa is most likely un informed about the nefarious war lords and regimes and may be fooled to believe that they mean well! Do they? Only fear of force or defeat made them resume the Kampala talks. The problem with the talks there are usually called jokes though, regime there cannot easily moderate something helpful as it back the rebels with Rwanda. Tanzania or other SADC nation can do a better job

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

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.

VOA Blogs