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A damning report for Rwanda, which UN experts accuse of supporting rebels in DR Congo


The roots of the conflict go back to 1994 and the genocide in Rwanda

A UN expert group claims to have solid evidence of the collaboration of the Rwandan army with the M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which Rwanda has so far steadfastly denied.

For some time, the DR Congo has been accusing neighboring Rwanda of aiding and abetting the rebels from the M23 group, which is made up of representatives of the Tutsi ethnic group. Kinshasa also accused the Rwandan army of fighting alongside rebels against Congolese government forces.

A group of UN experts wrote in a confidential report obtained by Reuters that members of the Rwandan defense forces, together with M23 rebels, carried out attacks on Congolese forces and armed groups in the east of the DR Congo. In addition, Rwanda supplied M23 with weapons, ammunition and military uniforms.

In Kampala, they have not yet responded to the serious accusations, and in the past they have consistently rejected accusations from Kinshasa, which has led to tensions between the two neighbors.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will visit both countries in a few days precisely with the aim of calming the situation and mediating in the dispute.

“Truth always wins in the end. We hope that conclusions will be reached quickly to end Rwanda’s interference and bring back lasting peace,” Congolese government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said on Twitter after the news of the report that he welcomes the work of the expert group.

Although the M23 group was founded in 2012, the reasons for its creation date back to 1994 and the genocide in Rwanda, when Hutu extremists killed around 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in three months.

If Kinshasa accuses Rwanda of supporting M23, Kampala, on the other hand, accuses it of supporting the Hutu rebel group the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in DR Congo, in which Hutus who were involved in the genocide in Rwanda are said to have participated.

The report by UN experts notes that some members of the Congolese army fought in the ranks of armed groups, including the FDLR, which Kinaša has so far denied. Rwandan President Paul Kagame recently even threatened war between the lines if Kinshasa did not stop supporting the FDLR.

Although the DR Congo is 90 times larger than Rwanda, the latter has a much more professionalized and trained army and is considered a regional military power, whose soldiers have fought and are still fighting in several conflicts on the African continent.

The violent advance of the M23

M23, according to its own statements, was created to defend the Tutsis in the DR Congo, launched the most violent offensive in recent years in May this year and by July had already controlled three times more territory than in March this year. Dozens of people were killed in the fighting, and tens of thousands were forced to leave their homes.

According to the findings of the report, M23 managed to capture a Congolese army base in the town of Rumangabo in May with the help of the Rwandan army, which was likely present or provided support in the capture of the strategically important border town of Bunagana.

Due to a new outbreak of violence in the east of the DR Congo, riots broke out in Goma a few days ago and protests against members of the UN peacekeeping forces, which the protesters accused of not doing enough to protect the civilian population.

Rwanda and neighboring Uganda have a long history of meddling in the DR Congo, having invaded it in 1996, leading to the overthrow of longtime dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, and then again in 1998 because armed groups there were said to be a security threat. About a hundred different rebel groups are said to be operating in the east of the DR Congo.

Source: Rtvslo



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