Thu, Nov 22, 2012 - Page 7 News List

Diplomats seek to stem Congo crisis

INACTION ‘ABSURD’:France slammed UN troops for letting rebels seize a city after Congolese forces retreated and the conflict that has claimed 5 million lives continued

Reuters, GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo

“Our job is to protect civilians,” the official added.

The M23 rebellion has aggravated tensions between the DR Congo and neighboring Rwanda, which Kinshasa says is orchestrating the insurgency as a means of grabbing the chaotic region’s mineral wealth that includes diamonds, gold and coltan — used in mobile phones.

Officials in the office of Museveni, the regional mediator for the conflict, said the Uganda preident would seek to host a face-to-face meeting between DR Congo President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Kampala yesterday.

Kinshasa on Tuesday rejected the idea of talks with rebels, but Rwanda’s foreign minister said the fall of Goma had shown there was no military solution to the crisis.

The capture of Goma will be an embarrassment for Kabila, who won re-election late last year in polls that provoked widespread riots.

There were pockets of demonstrations against the fall of Goma in other towns and Kabila faces the tricky choice between dialogue with the rebels, which will be politically unpopular, and trying to rally his scattered forces in North Kivu.

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