- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
M23 rebels vow to take Congo, as troops defect
The rebels took control of the eastern Congo town of Sake in a bid to move toward the provincial capital of Bukavu.
“Kabila has to go. We want our country back,” said M23Col. Vianney Kazarama to cheers from thousands gathered at the stadium in Goma, which was seized by the rebels on Tuesday. “We are now going to Kinshasa. No one will divide this country.”
Nearly 3,000 Congolese army soldiers and police defected to the rebels in Goma on Wednesday and turned in their weapons at the stadium rally.
The M23 is made up of hundreds of officers who deserted the Congo army in April this year. Neighboring Rwanda has supplied trained soldiers and weapons, according to a report by United Nations experts to be published Friday.
The speed with which the M23 has seized Goma and the surrounding countryside, rich in minerals, exposes the weakness of President Joseph Kabila’s government, 1,500 kilometers (978 miles) to the west in Kinshasa, say experts.
Strewn with bodies, burned out vehicles and abandoned tanks, the road between Goma and Sake showed evidence of Tuesday’s fighting.
M23 soldiers in vehicles patrolled the streets of Sake, 27 kilometers (17 miles) south of Goma. As in Goma, most residents accepted the rebels’ presence.
“We only want peace,” said Innocent Rumabo in Sake.
Other resident complained of rapes carried out Tuesday night.
“I know two women who were raped, there are more in the area,” said one Goma resident who insisted on anonymity for fear of retaliation.
In neighboring Uganda, the presidents of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo resolved to put pressure on the M23 rebels to give up territory they have captured, according to a statement released at the end of the emergency talks.
“Even if there are legitimate grievances by the mutineering group known as M23, they cannot accept the expansion of this war or entertain the idea of overthrowing the legitimate government of (Congo) or undermining its authority,” said presidents Joseph Kabila of Congo, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, in a statement issued late Wednesday.
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Aronofsky's 'Noah' banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: Bush to blame for Ukraine
- Christine O'Donnell eager to re-engage in political debate
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- U.S. tasks Navy destroyer to Black Sea amid Ukraine tensions
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again