Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson has urged the Congolese government to put into place measures that will protect the people of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo from rebel invasion. Carson said the M23 rebel commanders “represent a ‘who’s who’ of notorious human rights abusers” in the eastern DRC.
“We are urging President Kabila to undertake a credible effort to professionalize and reform the Congolese security forces,” Carson said. “At the same time, we are making clear that the Congolese government must accelerate its efforts to deploy and strengthen state institutions and provide needed public services in the Kivus. The extension of effective governance, combined with legitimate provincial elections, is necessary for a lasting peace.”
Carson told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights during a December 11 hearing, that Rwanda was behind arming the M23 rebels who are destabilizing Congo.
“There is a credible body of evidence that shows that the Rwandan government has been supplying M23 with significant military and logistical support, as well as operational and political guidance,” Carson said at the hearing.
He also confirmed that the United States has suspended foreign military financing funds to Rwanda and is pressing Rwanda’s leaders to end all forms of support to Congolese armed groups.