Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Congo Peace Conference Suffers More Delays

Previous article | Next
VOA News - January 8, 2008

Vital Kamerhe
Vital Kamerhe

A peace conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo is on hold until Wednesday as organizers try to cope with a large number of delegates. The conference is to bring together delegates from the government and from rebel militias that have been battling in eastern DRC since last year. Selah Hennessy reports for VOA from Goma that organizers say they are still optimistic about the outcome of the conference.

More than 1,000 delegates from across Congo have poured into this eastern capital, Goma, during the past few days.

Conference organizer Vital Kamerhe, the leader of Congo's National Assembly, says twice as many people have come for the conference than were expected and Monday's delegate registration was extended into a second day. He says organizers are trying to cut the numbers down so the conference can go ahead on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the city is jammed with soldiers, policeman, and various militias who have fought each other in bloody battles during recent months.

On Sunday 10 delegates loyal to renegade General Laurent Nkunda arrived in Goma, escorted by a U.N. Guard.

Since last August Nkunda's men have been battling the national army in the hills and thick jungle of eastern Congo.

In early December the government launched an all-out offensive against Nkunda's rebel militia, attacking his positions with a 20,000-member army.

But the army was unable to defeat Nkunda's highly-trained and experienced insurgents, and by the end of the month army troops were fleeing key strategic positions.

The government then called for a conference to bring peace to the war-torn region. But it is struggling to get off the ground. It was initially set to take place at the end of December, but disorganization delayed its start.

The conference was formally opened at a ceremony on Sunday, but President Joseph Kabila and Nkunda were both absent.

Organizer Kamerhe says he is optimistic that the conference will begin Wednesday and will run smoothly.

"I am very optimistic because all the peoples of North and South Kivu decided to build peace," said Kamerhe.

Rebel leader Nkunda says he has been fighting to protect local ethnic Tutsis from a Rwandan ethnic Hutu militia, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda or FDLR. Nkunda accuses the army of failing to protect the Tutsi population and of fighting alongside the FDLR.

Kamerhe says the FDLR will not be attending this conference because, he says, this is a conference only for Congolese.

"That is the armed group of Rwanda, it is not Congolese," he said.

Kamerhe says the peace conference is to end next Monday.


Related articles


  1. Jean-Pierre Bemba banned from running for president (August 25, 2018)
  2. Vital Kamerhe named UNC presidential candidate (August 4, 2018)
  3. Jean-Pierre Bemba Returns to DR Congo (August 1, 2018)
  4. At least 30 dead after massacres in Ituri (March 2, 2018)
  5. Botswana Urges Joseph Kabila to Step Down (February 26, 2018)
  6. No elections in DR Congo in December without electronic voting machines: INEC (February 13, 2018)
  7. US Warns DR Congo Against Electronic Voting for Delayed Election (February 12, 2018)
  8. Felix Tshisekedi accuses INEC of illegally prolonging Kabila's mandate (October 24, 2017)
  9. DRC Seeks Arrest of Presidential Candidate Moise Katumbi (May 19, 2016)
  10. Papa Wemba Is Buried in Kinshasa (May 4, 2016)
  11. Papa Wemba Awarded Highest National Honor as Thousands Pay Tribute (May 2, 2016)
  12. DR Congo reach final of African Nations Championship (February 3, 2016)
  13. Peacekeepers, Congo Army to Resume Joint Fight Against Rwandan Rebels (January 28, 2016)
  14. Political tensions 'running high' in DR Congo ahead of 2016 elections (October 7, 2015)
  15. Rights Groups: DR Congo Must Free Pro-democracy Activists (April 13, 2015)
  16. DRC Army Putting Pressure on FDLR (April 1, 2015)
  17. Police Open Fire on Crowd Protesting Election Law Change (January 19, 2015)
  18. Etienne Tshisekedi Evacuated to Belgium for Medical Treatment (August 16, 2014)
  19. Southern African Leaders to Meet in Zimbabwe (August 15, 2014)
  20. 15 dead in football match stampede in Kinshasa (May 12, 2014)
  21. Kerry Calls on Kabila to Honor Constitution (May 4, 2014)
  22. Kerry in DR Congo for Security Talks (May 3, 2014)
  23. Security Council extends UN mission, intervention force in DR Congo for one year (March 28, 2014)
  24. Death toll in Lake Albert boat accident rises to 108 people (March 24, 2014)
  25. DR Congo Takes Chairmanship of COMESA at Summit in Kinshasa (February 26, 2014)
  26. DR Congo Honors Nelson Mandela, Hero and Model for Humanity (December 6, 2013)
  27. Kabila Congratulates Congo Army for Defeating M23 Rebels (October 30, 2013)
  28. DR Congo Asks Rwanda to Turn Over M23 Rebel Leaders (July 26, 2013)
  29. UN Security Council debate focuses on peace efforts for Africa's Great Lakes region (July 25, 2013)
  30. M23 Rebels Kill, Rape Civilians in Eastern Congo: Human Rights Watch (July 22, 2013)


Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play



Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© 2018 CongoPlanet.com. All rights reserved.