Congo asks UN to sanction Rwanda officials for rebel support
M23 rebels, who have links to Bosco Ntaganda, a warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, have been fighting government soldiers in North Kivu province since April, displacing some 470,000 civilians.
Congo's Foreign Affairs Minister Raymond Tshibanda met with the members of the Security Council and the body's sanctions committee this week to discuss a report on the country's security issues by an U.N. expert panel.
"We believe that all the consequences must be drawn from the conclusions in the report of the group of experts and that sanctions should eventually be envisaged," Tshibanda told a news conference at the United Nations.
"We also believe, and this is what we have requested, is that these sanctions also relate to foreign personalities in addition to personalities in the Democratic Republic of Congo that are involved in this situation," he said.
Tshibanda said the foreigners named in the U.N. experts report should be targeted.
The report accused Rwanda's Defence Minister James Kaberebe; chief of defense staff Charles Kayonga; and General Jacques Nziza, a military adviser to President Paul Kagame, of being "in constant contact with M23."
Kigali has repeatedly rejected the allegations and accused the U.N. report's authors of failing to verify their information or consult Rwandan authorities. Rwanda Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo also met with U.N. Security Council members and the sanctions committee this week to defend her country.
Major donors the United States, Britain, the Netherlands and Germany have all suspended some of their financial aid to Rwanda over its alleged backing of the rebels.
Rwanda has repeatedly backed armed movements in its eastern neighbor during the last two decades, citing a need to tackle Rwandan rebels operating out of Congo's eastern hills.
Tshibanda also echoed earlier calls by Congo's President Joseph Kabila for a new mandate for the country's U.N. peacekeeping mission that would include stamping out the armed groups that have destabilized the east for nearly two decades.
The U.N. mission, known as MONUSCO, has more than 17,000 troops, but the force is stretched thin across a nation the size of Western Europe and already struggles to fulfill its current mandate of protecting civilians.
"It is important that the mandate of MONUSCO be amended and be strengthened," the foreign affairs minister told reporters.
"Right now it does not have the mandate of monitoring and protecting the border, it does not have the mandate of neutralizing, eradicating the negative forces," he said.
U.N. helicopter gunships frequently back up outgunned government forces but even that firepower failed to prevent rebels from taking several towns last month.
Top stories this week
- Damen and SA Shipyards in the lead to build new Navy hulls
- Transporter rolls on Oliviershoek Pass, loses Olifant main battle tank
- SANDF personnel killed in Naval Base Durban accident
- Five SA Navy vessels in Durban for Armed Forces Day, but no frigate
- Mapisa-Nqakula has ordered an investigation into military deployment at SONA
- Brazil approves Super Tucano sale to Nigeria
- Airlink acquiring additional Embraer jets
- Malian Super Tucano deliveries moving forward
- Guantanamo detainee released to Cabo Verde
- Benin authorities seize 54 kg of cocaine from Brazil
- Denel receives contract to integrate A-Darter onto Brazilian Gripens
- Embraer reaches $205.5 million graft settlement with U.S., Brazil
- Brazilian court to try Lula on Angolan corruption charges
- Regional aircraft market stabilizing
- Namibia commissions marine corps battalion
Saab partners with Hindustan Aeronautics for transfer of technology
by Saab, 20 February 2017
Saab Grintek Defence and HAL's Avionics Division have signed a contract to deliver transfer of technology between SA and India.
Alaris Antennas experiences unprecedented success with DF-A0037
by Alaris Antennas, 17 February 2017
The DF-A0037 is a vehicle and marine-based direction-finding antenna solution suitable for rugged applications.
Successful launch, delivery of 27m ferry
by Nautic Africa, 17 February 2017
Nautic celebrates the launch of the first 27m ferry for its partners in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, CITRANS.