Obama: Kabila Must “Do More” On DRC Security

more about geneva;”>viagra 100mg sans-serif; border: 1pt none windowtext; padding: 0in; font-weight: normal;”>Addressing journalists in Tanzania on Monday, Obama said Kabila should “do more” considering that the conflict over mineral resources has cost hundreds of lives and pushed thousands of refugees into deplorable conditions in refugee camps in neighbouring countries of Rwanda and Uganda

“President Kabila inside of Congo has to do more and better when it comes to dealing with the DRC’s capacity on security issues and delivery of services,” said Obama.

“And that’s very important, because if there’s a continuing vacuum there, then that vacuum sometimes gets filled by actors that don’t have the best interests of Congo at heart,” he added.

Several regional leaders have in the past accused Kabila of not taking radical steps to clean the eastern DRC of armed elements especially the Rwanda rebel group, FDLR and Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

The groups continue to recruit and arm their militants with intentions of attacking Rwanda and Uganda, according to United Nations officials.

President Yoweri Museveni recently attacked MONUSCO, the UN Peacekeeping Mission in DRC, for embarking on a “terrorism conservation project,” in reference to the group’s laissez faire attitude towards the operations of rebels, which include recruitment and human rights abuses, in Kivu.

Obama said United States is “prepared to work with the United Nations and regional organizations and others to help him (Kabila) build capacity.”

He said the people of Congo need a fair chance to live their lives and raise their families.

“And they haven’t had that opportunity because of constant conflict and war for way too many years. And of course, the tragedy is compounded by the fact that Congo is so rich in natural resources and potential, but because of this constant conflict and instability, the people of Congo haven’t benefitted from that.”


Obama further appealed to regional leaders to implement their commitments under the Framework for Peace signed in Ethiopia last year which include withdrawing support to armed elements in DRC and “that armed groups need to lay down their arms, and human rights abusers need to be held accountable.”

“And so, the fact that you now have a peace framework that the various parties have signed onto is critical. But it can’t just be a piece of paper; there has to be follow-through.

And so, one of the things that I discussed with President Kikwete is how we can encourage all the parties concerned to follow through on commitments that they’ve made in order to bring about a lasting solution inside of Congo,” said Obama.

He was responding to a question from a journalist who asked how the U.S, as a powerful nation in the world and a permanent member of the Security Council with a lot of influence to major players of the Congo conflict, was going to assist the DRC and Great Lakes to reach a permanent peace since there has been stability in Congo for almost 20 years now.

“The countries surrounding the Congo, they’ve got to make commitments to stop funding armed groups that are encroaching on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Congo. And they’ve signed onto a piece of paper now, now the question is do they follow through,” said Obama.

He did not mention any countries but recent UN reports have since accused Rwanda and Uganda of supporting the M23 Movement, a charge both countries deny.

“And so, we’re prepared to work with anybody to try to make this happen. Ultimately, though, the countries involved have to recognize it is in their self-interest to do so.

We can’t force a solution onto the region. The peoples of the region have to stand up and say that’s enough; it’s time to move forward in a different way. And, by the way, that means holding those who’ve committed gross human rights abuses accountable for what they’ve done,” added Obama.

“But there’s an opportunity for peace here. And the countries surrounding the Congo should recognize that if the Congo stabilizes, that will improve the prospects for their growth and their prosperity, because right now, it’s as if you have a millstone around your neck,” said the US president, adding, “ If you have one of the biggest countries in terms of geography in all of Africa with all these natural resources, but it’s constantly a problem as opposed to being part of the solution, everybody suffers.”

He noted Tanzania should be doing more trade with the DRC and Rwanda should be doing more trade and commerce with the DRC.

“One of the things we’re talking about it how do we get more inter-Africa trade, because if countries like Tanzania are going to improve their economic position in the globe, the first thing they have to do is to make sure they can trade with each other more effectively.”


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