Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


UN hits DRC rebels with sanctions

01 January 2013, 09:03

New York - The UN Security Council slapped an arms embargo on Monday on M23 rebels and their alleged Rwandan allies, the FDLR, amid a flare-up of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern region.

The council committee tasked with monitoring sanctions on the Congo also imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on two key M23 figures: the group's civilian leader Jean-Marie Runiga Lugerero and Lieutenant Colonel Eric Badege, a commander suspected of being responsible for the deaths of women and children.

The decision came just hours before Rwanda was set to join the council as a non-permanent member on Tuesday.

"We believe these designations will directly help advance the goal of a sustainable peace in eastern DRC," US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said in a statement.

"We urge the rank and file of both the M23 and the FDLR to defect and demobilize in order to disassociate themselves from the sanctioned groups."

Targeted sanctions

UN experts accuse Congo's neighbours Rwanda and Uganda of backing the M23, an accusation both countries deny.

The Security Council has already issued targeted sanctions, the latest round at the end of November, against three M23 military leaders - Sultani Makenga, Baudoin Ngaruye and Innocent Kaina - but had yet to sanction the entire group.

Britain's Africa minister Mark Simmonds welcomed the agreement, adding: "We remain committed to finding long-term solutions which will end the cycle of violence in the DRC."

"The dialogue needed to resolve the crisis must ensure that all violence stops, that external support to M23 ends and that there is no impunity for M23 commanders and others who have committed serious human rights abuses, including the FDLR," he added.

Simmonds called for "leadership" from the Congolese government to address the underlying causes of the conflict.

The UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has accused the M23 of arbitrary executions, forced disappearances, degrading treatment and rape of civilians in and around Goma after taking over the eastern Congo city in November.

But M23 rebels have rejected the claim.

"For years, the FDLR has committed atrocities against civilians and remains a threat to the stability of North and South Kivu," Rice said.

"Today's action against the FDLR is a critical step toward ending impunity and advancing peace."

'Additional action'

She warned of "additional action" by the council if necessary "against those who persist in providing external support to M23 or act in violation of the sanctions regime and arms embargo."

Although the council has repeatedly denounced external support to the M23, it has not cited Rwanda or Uganda by name so far.

Congolese military officials allege that the M23 have formed an alliance with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda in a bid to gain more territory in the region.

The M23 was formed in April by former fighters in the National Congress for the Defence of the People, an ethnic Tutsi rebel group that was integrated into the army under a 2009 peace deal whose terms the mutineers claim were never fully implemented.

The FDLR's members are ethnic Hutus who were soldiers in the Rwandan army before being forced out of the country in the wake of the 1994 genocide, which killed 800 000 people - mostly Tutsis.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...