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Wednesday 23 April  
Joseph Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (seen left), and Pa
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Kinshasa, Congo (Kinshasa)
Kinshasa, Congo (Kinshasa)

US: “Rwanda should stop support for Congo rebels”

Published on : 2 July 2012 - 10:37am | By RNW Africa Desk (Photo: AFP)
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The United States has called on Rwanda to halt supporting armed rebel groups in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo after a UN investigation implicated senior Kigali officials.

Fighting in Congo continued over the weekend in hills near the Rwandan border between forces loyal to Kinshasa and fighters from the so-called M23 mutiny. The statement from the United States was the first time the long-standing ally of Rwandan President Paul Kagame has directly addressed the issue of the country's alleged involvement in the Congo mutiny.

Bosco Ntaganda
Rwanda has denied the contents of an addendum to a report by UN experts, released last week, which provided the strongest evidence yet that officials of Kagame's government were providing military and logistical support to armed groups in Congo.

The groups include M23, a band of several hundred fighters led by Bosco Ntaganda, a mutinous army general with past links to Rwanda who is sought for arrest by Congo and also wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes.

New war
"We are deeply concerned by the report's findings [...] and have asked Rwanda to halt and prevent the provision of such support from its territory," Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the US State Department, said in an emailed statement on Saturday.

Rights groups including Amnesty Interanational and Global Witness have called on the United Nations and aid donors to Rwanda to take action in the wake of the report.

"The UK and US governments are the largest bilateral donors to Rwanda [...] They cannot stand by and watch a regime they bankroll orchestrating a new war in Congo," Global Witness said in a statement on Friday.

“One-sided UN report”

Rwanda's Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said last week that she regretted the publication of the "one-sided" UN report and vowed to disprove the allegations levelled against Rwandan officials, including defence minister James Kabarebe and several top military figures. Rwanda is bidding for a seat on the UN Security Council next year.

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On Friday, Congo's president Joseph Kabila blamed the unrest on "dark forces, national and foreign" during a speech on national television, but did not mention Rwanda by name.

200,000 refugees
Kabila called off Saturday's annual independence day celebrations as a mark of respect for the victims of the fighting, which has seen more than 200,000 people flee their homes since April, and has pushed the total number of Congo's displaced above two million for the first time since 2009.

M23 fighters and government troops clashed on Saturday and Sunday according to local witnesses, who said the mutineers had attempted to seize a key road but were pushed back.

“Fighters have pulled back”
M23 spokesman Vianney Kazarama said his forces had come under attack from government troops near the town of Ntamugenga, in the eastern province of North Kivu, where thousands of people are living rough after fleeing the fighting. Kazarama said his fighters had pulled back for humanitarian reasons, allowing the Congolese army to take back territory.

Source: Reuters

Discussion

Anonymous 2 July 2012 - 4:57pm

All the secrets are starting to come out!!
If you don’t believe me, you should watch President Kagame press conference on 19 June 2012 on you tube. Where he is saying that People used to pass through him because Kabila was quiet and he didn’t know how to do business, and even they have thought to remove him, and now these people have turn the table around
If you don’t have a time to watch everything (the conference ) just start on 27min, you will understand what is really going on fighting

Anonymous 2 July 2012 - 4:00pm

Here is my question. Why ICC is looking for Bosco Ntaganda (The form CNDP second command) in Forrest and leave behind his boss Gen Nkunda who is in Rwanda on the House arrest ( CNDP First command ) and we all know Nkunda was the Chef when all these crimes were committed
Is this about International Community secrets?

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