Posts Tagged ‘Democratic Republic of Congo’

Obama signs Executive Order in regard to conflict in DRC

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama has taken additional steps
with respect to the Congo conflict by signing an Executive Order to address the
continuation of activities that threaten the peace, security, or stability of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo and the surrounding region.

This includes operations by armed groups, widespread violence and atrocities, human
rights abuses, recruitment and use of child soldiers, attacks on peacekeepers,
obstruction of humanitarian operations, and exploitation of natural resources to
finance persons engaged in these activities.The E.O. holds the following accountable:
CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - July 8, 2014 at 8:30 pm

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Rebirth: Democratic Republic of Congo at crossroads

Democratic Republic of Congo

Newscast Media KINSHASA—Speaking before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations February 26, Russell Feingold, the U.S. special envoy for the Democratic
Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region, said the region stands at a
crossroads between peace and ongoing conflict.

“The decisions that the Congo, the region and the international community take now
will set the trajectory of the next several years in terms of security, good
governance, and development,” he said. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - March 6, 2014 at 10:12 pm

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United Nations calls for permanent disarmament of M23 rebels

United Nations

Newscast Media NEW YORK—The United Nations Security Council has called for the immediate and permanent disarmament of the March 23 movement (M23) rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). On Thursday, Liu Jieyi of China, who holds the council’s presidency in November, said that the council “calls for…the disarmament and demobilization of the M23 and accountability for human rights abusers.”

On Wednesday, Abdallah Wafi, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s deputy special representative to Congo, said the country should prepare a plan to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate former rebels M23.

He made the remarks a week after the UN mission in Congo, known as MONUSCO, helped the Congolese army defeat the 18-month-old M23 insurgency.

Wafi said the measure, which he called DDR plan, is key to ensure peace and security in the country’s violence-ridden east.

On November 5, the M23 announced an end to their revolt after a bruising offensive by the Congolese army and UN forces. M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa said in a statement that the group would disarm and pursue political talks.

The M23 rebels seized Goma on November 20, 2012 after UN peacekeepers gave up the battle for the frontier city of one million people. M23 rebels withdrew from the city on December 1 under a ceasefire accord.

The M23 rebels defected from the Congolese army in April 2012 in protest over alleged mistreatment in the army. They had previously been integrated into the Congolese army under a peace deal signed in 2009.

Since early May 2012, nearly three million people have fled their homes in the eastern Congo. About 2.5 million have resettled in Congo, but about 500,000 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

http://newscastmedia.com/m23-rebels.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - November 15, 2013 at 10:45 pm

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Rwanda aid blocked by the US for supporting M23 rebels

Rwanda

Newscast Media KIGALI—The United States says it has blocked military aid to Rwanda for backing M23 rebels, who are active in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo and use child soldiers in their fight against Kinshasa. The US State Department said on Thursday that the sanctions also apply to the Central African Republic, Myanmar, Sudan and Syria.

Washington has been strengthening the military of Rwanda—a staunch ally in Africa—for decades despite Kigali’s blatant interference in neighboring Congo, but other nations reportedly do not receive any military aid from the US.

“Our goal is to work with countries who have been listed to ensure that any involvement in child soldiers—any involvement in the recruitment of child soldiers—stop,” US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Rwanda was sanctioned because of its “support for the M23, a rebel group which continues to actively recruit and abduct children” and to threaten the stability of Congo.

The March 23 movement (M23) rebels defected from the Congolese army in April 2012 in protest over alleged mistreatment in the army.

The UN and Kinshasa have repeatedly accused Rwanda of helping the rebels in Congo. Rwanda has always denied the charges that it is backing the M23, but Kigali has never publicly condemned the militia, which is strengthening its grip over the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu in the eastern Congo.

Military spokesman Brigadier General Joseph Nzabamwita said that Rwanda is not responsible for events in Congo.

“It is surprising that Rwanda would be liable for matters that are neither on its territory, nor in its practices,” he said. “As a long term partner of the Rwanda Defense Forces, the United States has ample evidence that our forces have never tolerated the use of children in combat.”

“Rwanda’s commitment to a sustainable solution that seeks to bring an end to the DRC conflict and its consequences, including the use of child soldiers, remains unchanged,” Nzabamwita added.

“The collaboration between the Government of Rwanda and the United States remains strong, particularly in the field of peacekeeping, and Rwanda will continue to hold its forces to the highest standards of professionalism and discipline,” he noted.

The M23 rebels and several other armed groups are active in the eastern Congo and are fighting for control of the country’s vast mineral resources, such as gold, the main tin ore cassiterite, and coltan (columbite-tantalite), which is used to make many electronic devices, including cell phones.

Since early May 2012, nearly three million people have fled their homes in the eastern Congo. About 2.5 million have resettled in Congo, but about 500,000 have crossed into neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.

The eastern Congo has experienced interminable cycles of violence since 1998. The war in the Congo has dragged on for over a decade and left over 5.5 million people dead.

Source: Press TV

http://newscastmedia.com/rwanda-sactions.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - October 4, 2013 at 4:11 am

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UN to M23 rebels: Disarm in 48 hrs or face military force

UN troops

Newscast Media KINSHASA—On Tuesday, the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in
the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) published a statement saying the
rebels around the eastern city of Goma should either disarm or face “the use of
force.”

MONUSCO gave the M23 rebels around Goma until 4:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Thursday
“to hand in their weapon to a MONUSCO base,” or the peacekeeping mission would
use its new mandate against them for the first time.

The statement said after the deadline the rebels would be “considered an
imminent threat of physical violence to civilians and MONUSCO will take all
necessary measures to disarm them, including by the use of force in
accordance with its mandate and rules of engagement.”

The mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, known as MONUSCO, was
recently renewed by the UN Security Council. The new mandate allows the creation
of a special unit, called the Force Intervention Brigade, to carry out targeted
offensive operations against armed groups rather than merely protecting civilians.

The M23 rebels seized Goma on November 20, 2012 after UN peacekeepers gave up
the battle for the frontier city of one million people. M23 fighters withdrew from the
city on December 1 under a ceasefire accord.

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 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

http://www.newscastmedia.com/deadline-for-m23.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - July 31, 2013 at 5:49 pm

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Hillary Clinton: M23 Rebels must abide by the Kampala Accords

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Newscast Media KAMPALA, Uganda—The month of November ends with a positive solution to the Democratic Republic of Congo crisis, that was welcomed by the White House and State Department. Life in eastern Congo is slowly returning to normal as the rebels fully withdraw from the region. The White House and State Department issued a strong statement condemning the action the rebels took to invade the DRC.

At the beginning of the week, when fighting intensified as rebels held the eastern cities of Goma and Sake captive, Newscast Media wrote a harsh admonition under the headline “Not enough Congolese have been killed for the U.S. to intervene”.

In that article written on November 26, this journalist said, “Hillary Clinton squandered several opportunities she had to mobilize a peace-keeping force that would secure the well-being of the Congolese people.”

For the part of the State Department, Hillary Clinton has since worked with the UN and African Union (AU) to secure a 4,000-strong force, that will be on stand-by to make sure that lasting peace in the region is realized.

Something we also wanted to see happen when the article was written, was a strong condemnation from the U.S. government against the invasion of Congo by the rebels.

Hillary Clinton, like a true soldier said on November 28: “The United States strongly condemns the “tactics of fear and intimidation” that have accompanied the conflict since a rebellion broke out in the region in April.”

“There is only one way forward for M23,” Clinton added. “They must meet their commitments under the Kampala Accords to cease their attacks, withdraw from Goma, and pull back to the July lines.”
Read full condemnation

The swift actions the U.S. government (State Department) and African Union have taken in the past 72 hours, satisfy the grievances Newscast Media had about the silence of the United States, while Africans were being slaughtered.

As much as we are passionate when criticizing policies we find troubling, it is only fair that we praise those who have been criticized, when they correct those same policies. We know Newscast Media gets some web traffic from the State Department.

As such, Newscast Media credits Hillary Clinton, the US government and the African Union (AU) for mobilizing a military unit of 4,000 to neutralize any threat that would destabilize the DRC region. More credit also goes to Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, for the role they played in delivering a peaceful solution.

This is certainly an excellent humanitarian gesture on behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton, to the people of the Motherland—and a sign of redemption of lost opportunities, as she ends her tenure with the State Department.

Cicero, the greatest mind in classical antiquity said: “The greatest renown, and profoundest gratitude, is won by defending the oppressed. This consideration particularly applies when the oppression is coming from a formidable personage.” Cicero On The Good Life (page 147).

I’m sure Hillary will miss my constructive criticism when she leaves office in January 2013—but who knows? I might just catch up with her on the campaign trail…should she choose to run for the presidency in the year 2016.

http://newscastmedia.com/congo-security2.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - December 1, 2012 at 2:36 am

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Congo Update: UN approves 4,000 military combatants to maintain stability in DR Congo

UN Troops

Newscast Media KAMPALA, Uganda—Newscast Media promised to update our readers about developments in the embattled Democratic Republic of Congo. Some more exciting news from the region is that the UN has approved a 4,000-strong military force to maintain stability, and if necessary, these combatants will militarily engage any outside elements attempting to destabilize the area.

The 4,000 soldiers are an amalgamation of African Union troops who will maintain a neutral stance and ensure life goes back to normal within the entire eastern region, as reported by Uganda’s state-owned New Vision paper.

The UN had 17,000 troops in the Congo that did absolutely nothing to stop the rebels from overrunning towns and villages, and simply watched Africans lose their lives to the savagery of the M23 rebels.

The approval of 4,000 combatants who will prevent atrocities from occurring comes as splendid news, in time for Christmas, for all Congolese and neighboring countries. For their part, the rebels are already pulling out of Goma and Sake, the cities they had previously held captive. This is a very good and honorable gesture by all who have brought about the peaceful withdrawal from Congo.

Hopefully this brings an end to the Congo nightmare, and a fresh beginning for the Congolese people to pursue their dreams and to also live in peace.

Related Story:
Finally M23 rebels have agreed to withdraw from the DR Congo

http://newscastmedia.com/congo-security.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - November 30, 2012 at 1:18 am

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Not enough Congolese have been killed for US to intervene

L-R: Barack Obama, Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame

Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Democratic Republic of Congo continues to experience genocide and occupation by rebel groups with an estimated 5.4 million Congolese dead as a result of the unending war. The US has kept silent, after all, 5.4 million Congolese aren’t enough dead Africans to warrant intervention. Maybe once the number reaches 10 million, then the US and its western allies will consider
the lives of these sub-Saharan Africans worthy of protection the M23 rebel groups.

Perhaps since the West is fond of selling the over-population myth, could it be that these endless wars in Africa (Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Congo, Libya, Egypt, Sudan), are being used as a contraceptive, hence the lack of intervention?

The New York Times reports: “A big factor will be neighboring Rwanda, which is widely suspected of arming the M23 and sending Rwandan soldiers to fight covertly alongside the rebels.” The same article continues by quoting rebels vowing to seize Kinshasa, the capital city.

“We’re going to Kinshasa!” vowed Col. Vianney Kazarama, a spokesman for the M23 rebel group, according this New York Times article.

Hillary Clinton squandered several opportunities she had to mobilize a peace-keeping force that would secure the well-being of the Congolese people. During Bill Clinton’s presidency, he too did nothing to speak out against the Tutsi genocide in which almost 1,000,000 Tutsis were slaughtered.

Human rights groups and social service workers like Shamus Cooke believe Obama is intentionally silent because he wants Joseph Kabila removed. In an article published by Tehran Times Cooke writes:

“Kabila distanced himself from U.S. puppets Rwanda and Uganda, not to mention the U.S. dominated International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. The IMF, for example, warned Kabila against a strategic infrastructural and development aid package with China, but Kabila shrugged them off. The Economist explains:

“…[The Congo] appears to have gained the upper hand in a row with foreign donors over a mining and infrastructure package worth $9 billion that was agreed a year ago with China. The IMF objected to it, on the ground that it would saddle Congo with a massive new debt, so [the IMF] is delaying forgiveness of most of the $10 billion-plus that Congo already owes.

“If Obama and/or the UN made one public statement about militarily defending the elected Congolese government against invasion, the M23 militia would have never acted.

“Human Rights Watch and other groups have correctly labeled the M23′s commanders as responsible for “ethnic massacres, recruitment of children, mass rape, killings, abductions and torture.

“It’s likely that the Obama administration will jump into action as soon as his M23 allies complete their military objective of regime change, and re-open the Congo’s military wealth to U.S. corporations to profit from,” Shamus Cooke concludes his article in the Tehran Times.

The so-called peace talks between neighboring countries are a joke—it’s theatrics. The U.S. together with NATO toppled Gadhafi under the pretext of protecting Libyans from atrocities. The current attempt to remove Assad, we are told, is to prevent the genocide he is committing against his own citizens. Yet when Congolese are killed by the millions, intervention to prevent additional deaths is not justified. Absurd!
Africa’s curse has always been its leaders—whether by descent, or by birth.

http://newscastmedia.com/congo-genocide.htm

         

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - November 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm

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Report says Rwanda and Uganda arming Congolese rebels

Armed fighters

Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a 44-page report written by UN Security Council’s Group of Experts, accusations have been made against Rwanda and Uganda that both countries have been supporting the M23 rebel group.

“While Rwandan officials co-ordinated the creation of the rebel movement as well as its major military operations, Uganda’s more subtle support to M23 allowed the rebel group’s political branch to operate from within Kampala and boost its external relations,” the report says, that was seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

Both countries have denied the accusations, and according the BBC, Uganda’s foreign minister, Henry Okello Oryem, told the BBC that the UN was seeking to blame others for the failure of its own peacekeeping force in the eastern Congo. German news agency Deutsche Welle says both countries benefit from the instability of the Democratic Republic of Congo, but won’t openly admit to supporting the rebels.

“First of all, Rwanda and Uganda cannot openly say they are supporting an armed group which is creating instability and insecurity, and which is committing crimes against humanity in a foreign country. This is just not possible.

“Secondly, for Rwanda and Uganda there is a direct benefit in having instability in eastern Congo. As you may know, there is a lot of initiative to regulate mineral exports, especially those used for mobile phones and computers,” Mr. Marc-Andre Lagrange told Deutsche Welle.

According a Reuters news report about the dubious smuggling in the region, Tin, Tungsten and Tantalum are among the minerals being smuggled across the border from DRC to Rwanda, where traders in Rwanda and Burundi are reaping profits.

“Several traders have contributed to finance M23 rebels out of profits resulting from smuggling Congolese minerals into Rwanda. Rwandan exports of tantalum and tungsten had risen in 2012 in tandem with increased smuggling out of Congo, according to this Reuters article.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - October 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm

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