UN Report: Rwandan military intervened in DR Congo

2022-08-04 20:06:22
UN Report: Rwandan military intervened in DR Congo

The Rwandan army has intervened in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in recent months, both directly and in support of rebel groups, according to a report by United Nations experts.

The Rwandan army has "launched military interventions against Congolese armed groups and positions of the Congolese armed forces" since November 2021, according to the report sent to the Security Council.

The experts say that Kigali has also "provided troop reinforcements to the M23 for specific operations, particularly when these were aimed at seizing strategic towns and areas".

The 23 March Movement (M23) is a former Tutsi-dominated rebellion defeated in 2013, which took up arms late last year to demand the implementation of an agreement signed with Kinshasa.

Rwanda has previously denied accusations by Congo's government that it supports the M23 and that it has sent troops into the country. The M23 has denied it receives Rwandan support.

Since the end of March, the frequency and intensity of the fighting have increased dramatically and the M23 has seized parts of Rutshuru territory, up to a dozen kilometres north of Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu.

The report of the Group of Experts undermines the denials of the Rwandan authorities and details the direct involvement of Rwanda "unilaterally or jointly with M23 fighters" in eastern DRC.

On 13 June, the strategic town of Bunagana (50 km north of Goma), a commercial crossroads on the Ugandan border, was taken by the M23 after clashes.

Drone footage provided by The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), amateur videos and photos and eyewitness accounts establish the presence of Rwandan armed forces and/or the transfer of their equipment to the M23 in and around the town of Bunagana on the eve and day of the attack.

The Group adds that "eyewitnesses and researchers have reported a passive, minimal complacency on the part of the Ugandan army at the border, which allowed M23 fighters to cross the border" to attack the town. Congo's government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said he welcomed the work of the U.N. group.

"The truth always triumphs in the end. We hope that conclusions will be drawn quickly to put an end to Rwanda's interference and bring back lasting peace," he wrote on Twitter.

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