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WORLD
November 12, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- After 19 years of fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, diplomats and envoys gathered for the signing of a deal to seal the defeat of the Congolese rebel group, M23. But the Congolese government and M23 couldn't even agree to get into the same room in Uganda late Monday. The deal, which appeared to offer the first glimmer of hope for peace in years, went unsigned. The hitch? Whether the document was to be called an “agreement” or a “declaration.” The agreement, understanding, deal or declaration was supposed to lay down the process for the disarming and demobilization of M23. Under its terms, lower-ranking soldiers were to be integrated into the Congolese army.
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WORLD
March 7, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The International Criminal Court on Friday handed down the second conviction in its 12-year history, finding former Congolese warlord Germain Katanga guilty on four counts of war crimes and one count of crimes against humanity. Katanga, a leader of the Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri, one of the myriad armed militias in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, was found guilty of being an accomplice to murders and pillage during a 2003 attack on the village of Bogoro.
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WORLD
March 26, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
Standing before the International Criminal Court on Tuesday for the first time, Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda denied he was guilty of a long list of wartime crimes. Ntaganda faces charges of forcing children to fight as soldiers and indirectly perpetrating murder, rape, attacks on civilians and other crimes against humanity. He was officially informed of the charges against him at the hearing Tuesday in the Hague. The warlord said he was not guilty before a judge interrupted and told him he did not yet need to enter a plea.
WORLD
December 30, 2013 | By Erin Conway-Smith
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - A series of attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital left dozens of people dead Monday as the army fought off assailants identified as followers of a disgruntled religious leader. The coordinated attacks, at first thought to be a coup attempt, targeted a state television station, the airport and a military base in Kinshasa, the capital. Gunfire was also reported in Lubumbashi, the country's second-largest city and capital of mineral-rich Katanga province.
WORLD
March 19, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- In his seven years on the run from international justice, Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda became a symbol of the International Criminal Court's impotence. Now the court, which lacks a police force to arrest those it has indicted, will have an unexpected opportunity to demonstrate its relevance in Ntaganda's case. The warlord-turned-general-turned-warlord, who launched last year's rebellion in Eastern Congo, shocked everyone when he walked into the U.S. embassy in the Rwandan capital of Kigali on Monday and asked to be handed over to the ICC to stand trial.
WORLD
September 6, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
The United Nations refugee agency protested to Rwandan President Paul Kagame over his government forcing home 1,500 Congolese refugees in recent days. U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers said refugees "must be able to make a free and informed decision." Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo signed a peace pact July 30 aiming to end a devastating conflict estimated to have killed more than 2 million people. But both sides have accused the other of violating the deal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 2013 | David Colker
Congolese superstar musician and songwriter Tabu Ley Rochereau, whose electrifying performances fused African and Latin rhythms into an irresistible blend, was greatly responsible in the 1970s for bringing Afro-pop to Europe and other parts of the world. And even when his roller coaster career was hitting one of its low periods - as it was in the mid-1990s when he lived in Anaheim and held court at a local Norm's restaurant - Rochereau managed to put on a tightly choreographed show complete with band, dancers and masters of ceremonies, all fronted by his honey-toned vocals.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
A decade ago, Canadian writer-director Kim Nguyen started working on the script that would become "War Witch," a film about a girl in sub-Saharan Africa who is kidnapped by rebels, conscripted as a child soldier and forced to commit horrific acts of violence. Around the same time, Rachel Mwanza was abandoned by her parents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at age 6, living with her grandmother for a time and then fending for herself on the streets of Kinshasa, the capital. Nguyen was finally able to put his film into production in 2011 and cast Mwanza in the title role.
WORLD
September 9, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
It was 1961 and the Cold War battle for influence in newly independent African states was sharply focused on the Congo. The first elected leader, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, had been kidnapped, tortured and killed by a military junta earlier in the year. With the anarchic new state falling under the sway of the Soviet Union, Katanga politician Moise Tshombe cleaved his province and its wealth of uranium, copper and cobalt mines into a separate state supported and protected by former Belgian colonial masters.
WORLD
December 22, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
GOMA, Congo - These days, the U.N. force deployed to protect the city's population from rampant militias is not particularly popular. Residents complain that the peacekeepers last month should have prevented Rwanda-backed M23 rebels from taking over the largest city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Some even assert that their country would be better off without the international force, known as MONUSCO, which at $1.4 billion a year is the U.N.'s most expensive peacekeeping mission, and the most controversial.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 2013 | David Colker
Congolese superstar musician and songwriter Tabu Ley Rochereau, whose electrifying performances fused African and Latin rhythms into an irresistible blend, was greatly responsible in the 1970s for bringing Afro-pop to Europe and other parts of the world. And even when his roller coaster career was hitting one of its low periods - as it was in the mid-1990s when he lived in Anaheim and held court at a local Norm's restaurant - Rochereau managed to put on a tightly choreographed show complete with band, dancers and masters of ceremonies, all fronted by his honey-toned vocals.
WORLD
November 12, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- After 19 years of fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, diplomats and envoys gathered for the signing of a deal to seal the defeat of the Congolese rebel group, M23. But the Congolese government and M23 couldn't even agree to get into the same room in Uganda late Monday. The deal, which appeared to offer the first glimmer of hope for peace in years, went unsigned. The hitch? Whether the document was to be called an “agreement” or a “declaration.” The agreement, understanding, deal or declaration was supposed to lay down the process for the disarming and demobilization of M23. Under its terms, lower-ranking soldiers were to be integrated into the Congolese army.
WORLD
October 30, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Congolese troops backed by a U.N. force on Wednesday drove insurgents from the M23 group from the eastern border town of Bunagana, the rebels' headquarters and last stronghold. The action raised the possibility that the Congolese government might defeat the rebels and begin to bring some stability to the troubled area. Bertrand Bisimwa, a civilian leader with the M23 rebels, reportedly fled across the border into Uganda, with Congolese officials calling on authorities there to hand him over.
WORLD
September 9, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
It was 1961 and the Cold War battle for influence in newly independent African states was sharply focused on the Congo. The first elected leader, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, had been kidnapped, tortured and killed by a military junta earlier in the year. With the anarchic new state falling under the sway of the Soviet Union, Katanga politician Moise Tshombe cleaved his province and its wealth of uranium, copper and cobalt mines into a separate state supported and protected by former Belgian colonial masters.
WORLD
March 26, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
Standing before the International Criminal Court on Tuesday for the first time, Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda denied he was guilty of a long list of wartime crimes. Ntaganda faces charges of forcing children to fight as soldiers and indirectly perpetrating murder, rape, attacks on civilians and other crimes against humanity. He was officially informed of the charges against him at the hearing Tuesday in the Hague. The warlord said he was not guilty before a judge interrupted and told him he did not yet need to enter a plea.
WORLD
March 19, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- In his seven years on the run from international justice, Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda became a symbol of the International Criminal Court's impotence. Now the court, which lacks a police force to arrest those it has indicted, will have an unexpected opportunity to demonstrate its relevance in Ntaganda's case. The warlord-turned-general-turned-warlord, who launched last year's rebellion in Eastern Congo, shocked everyone when he walked into the U.S. embassy in the Rwandan capital of Kigali on Monday and asked to be handed over to the ICC to stand trial.
WORLD
November 25, 2008 | Times Wire Reports
Government soldiers and rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo have committed serious human rights abuses, including mass killings, arbitrary executions, rape and torture, a U.N. report said. The report said elements of the Congolese army and national police were responsible for many serious violations from July to November. It said rebels "perpetrated serious human rights abuses with impunity."
WORLD
December 30, 2013 | By Erin Conway-Smith
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - A series of attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital left dozens of people dead Monday as the army fought off assailants identified as followers of a disgruntled religious leader. The coordinated attacks, at first thought to be a coup attempt, targeted a state television station, the airport and a military base in Kinshasa, the capital. Gunfire was also reported in Lubumbashi, the country's second-largest city and capital of mineral-rich Katanga province.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
A decade ago, Canadian writer-director Kim Nguyen started working on the script that would become "War Witch," a film about a girl in sub-Saharan Africa who is kidnapped by rebels, conscripted as a child soldier and forced to commit horrific acts of violence. Around the same time, Rachel Mwanza was abandoned by her parents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at age 6, living with her grandmother for a time and then fending for herself on the streets of Kinshasa, the capital. Nguyen was finally able to put his film into production in 2011 and cast Mwanza in the title role.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
A few years ago, Rachel Mwanza was fending for herself on the streets of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; this week, the 16-year-old actress will be in attendance at Hollywood's biggest night. Mwanza, star of the film "War Witch," has been granted a visa to travel to the U.S. and Canada to attend various award shows, including the Academy Awards, where the Canadian production is nominated for best foreign-language film. (The film is in French and Lingala.) "War Witch," directed by Kim Nguyen, tells the story of Komona (played by Mwanza)
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