[QODLink]
Africa

US warns Rwanda over support for DRC rebels

US says M23 rebels to blame for executions, rapes and forcible recruitment of boys, while receiving Rwandan support.

Last Modified: 24 Jul 2013 09:01
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The US call came after clashes between M23 and the Congolese army in Goma near the Rwandan border [Reuters]

The United States called on Rwanda to end support for M23 rebels in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

"We call upon Rwanda to immediately end any support for the M23 and withdraw military personnel from eastern DRC," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Tuesday.

Psaki said the latest concerns over M23 follow credible evidence from Human Rights Watch that said the rebels were to blame for executions, rapes and forcible recruitment of men and boys while receiving support from Rwanda.

The HRW acknowledged on Tuesday erroneous testimony in the report but said it stands by its conclusions. Rwanda rejected the group's allegations, saying that the inclusion of incorrect testimony undermined the report.

M23 began taking parts of eastern Congo early last year, accusing the government of failing to honor a 2009 peace deal.

A UN report in June this year said the M23 recruited fighters in Rwanda with the aid of sympathetic Rwandan army officers, while elements of the Congolese army have cooperated with the Rwandan Hutu rebel group FDLR.

The report prompted the United States and European states to suspend military assistance to Kigali.

It is the first response by Washington to recent M23 clashes with Congolese government forces near Goma, the largest city in the DRC's mineral-rich eastern region.

But Washington stayed clear of directly implicating Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a US ally whose poverty-fighting programs are often heralded by donors.

The UN investigation provided the strongest evidence yet that officials from Kagame's government were providing military and logistical support to armed groups in Congo.

A 17,000-strong UN force, known as MONUSCO, and Congo troops have struggled in the past decade to stem a conflict involving dozens of armed groups and complicated by national and ethnic rivalries. A 3,000-member UN Intervention Brigade was recently deployed to fight and disarm rebels in the east.

306

Source:
Associated Press
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
join our mailing list