Newscast Media WASHINGTON—According to a statement released by the UN spokesperson Eduardo del Buey, the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO), expressed on Monday the organization’s concerns about clashes in Congo, stressing “the mission is actively pursuing a diplomatic and political solution to contain and end the clashes.”
According to Press TV, the statement also said that heavy weapons and rocket launchers were used in the clashes.
“The Mission reports that initial skirmishes escalated to the use of heavy
caliber weapons, mortars and rocket launchers,” the statement said.
Monday morning, Congolese soldiers clashed with the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels for the first time in nearly six months since the rebels retreated from the city of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.
Fighting began after the M23 rebels attacked government positions around 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of the mineral-rich city, according to army spokesman Olivier Hamuli.
The fighting comes after the UN began deploying an attack force to the east last week to neutralize armed groups in the area. The UN has nearly 20,000 peacekeepers in eastern Congo.
Several armed groups, including the March 23 movement (M23) rebels, are active in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and fighting for the control of the country’s vast mineral resources.
The M23 rebels defected from the Congolese army in April 2012 in protest over alleged mistreatment in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC). They had previously been integrated into the Congolese army under a peace deal signed in 2009.
Since early May 2012, nearly 3 million people have fled their homes in the eastern Congo. About 2.5 million have resettled in Congo, but more than 460,000 have crossed into neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.
Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades, such as grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of the country that has dragged on since 1998 and left over 5.5 million people dead.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—Due to the extended conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo caused by M23 rebels, the US is now ready to send drones to the Great Lakes region of Africa to help UN peace-keeping forces maintain stability. This of course is making leaders of the countries within the region nervous because the unmanned aerial vehicles will also be equipped with surveillance capabilities.
The US wants to take a pragmatic approach by sending in drones which may not be limited to just Congo, but also used in other neighboring countries.
“It is not wise to use a device on which we don’t have enough information,” Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda’s deputy U.N. ambassador, told Reuters. “Africa shall not become a laboratory for intelligence devices from overseas.”
However, Brieuc Pont, who represents the French government disagrees, and in a tweet he was supportive of sending drones to DR Congo as shown below:
This is news DR Congo’s Joseph Kabila will welcome, because the drones will deter invaders from encroaching on his mineral-rich nation. Yet Rwanda’s opposition to the drone idea is a sign that the Rwandan government feels it might be a target since it has been accused of supporting and arming the M23 rebels according to an article written by The Australian.
Newscast Media PRETORIA—The Democratic Republic of Congo has asked South Africa to intervene in the eastern region where Rwanda and Uganda have been accused by a UN leaked report of supporting the rebels. Meeting his South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Congolese Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda relied on the close relationship both countries share to confront the challenges DR Congo faces.
“I am referring here to the security in the eastern DRC where we hope to arrive at specific results with the help of South Africa,” Tshibanda said in the South African capital Pretoria, without giving any more details.
Meanwhile, the M23 Movement, which is an extension of the M23 rebel group, has formed a semi autonomous administration structure in areas under their control in north Kivu province.
The UN on the other hand, said it will continue its work in the embattled country, as it helps fight and contain the Ebola outbreak. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) have deployed experts to support operational response, including establishment of a field laboratory and in the area of infection prevention and control in health care settings.
The tumultuous situation escalated in DR Congo after member states walked away from the Lusaka Agreement, that many thought would result in a cease-fire. Many Congolese refugees in the past decade have migrated to western Uganda, while others to the Central African Republic located between Uganda, Sudan and Chad.