Kabila: Rwanda backing rebels

2012-07-29 16:46
Two March 23 Movement (M23) rebels patrol on Kavumu hill in North Kivu, eastern DRC where the rebel movement is embroiled in cat-and-mouse clashes. (Melanie Gouby, AFP)

Two March 23 Movement (M23) rebels patrol on Kavumu hill in North Kivu, eastern DRC where the rebel movement is embroiled in cat-and-mouse clashes. (Melanie Gouby, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kinshasa - Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila has accused neighbouring Rwanda of backing rebels hostile to his government, saying it was an "open secret" that Kigali was meddling in Congo's volatile eastern borderlands.

Rwanda is under increasing pressure after a United Nations experts' report found it was providing support to the M23 rebels who have fought government soldiers in North Kivu province since April, displacing some 470 000 civilians.

Kigali has repeatedly rejected the allegations and accused the report's authors of failing to verify their information or consult Rwandan authorities.

Kabila commented for the first time on the growing row between the two uneasy neighbours during a rare news conference broadcast on state television on Saturday night.

"As for the involvement of Rwanda...It's an open secret. You know, the whole world knows. There is a report that effectively establishes the presence and active backing from this country to the M23 and to other armed groups," Kabila said.

The president said his government had also requested an explanation from another eastern neighbour, Uganda, of persistent rumours that its soldiers were involved in the fighting.

"The ministry of foreign affairs has specifically asked the Ugandans what is going on and the response is that the Ugandans have nothing to do with it," he said.

Major donors the United States, Britain, the Netherlands and Germany have all suspended some of their financial aid to Rwanda over its alleged backing of the rebels, who have links to Bosco Ntaganda, a warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges.

Rwanda is often celebrated for its development gains during its long recovery from a 1994 genocide that killed some 800 000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

The country is still heavily dependent upon donor support, and Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo on Saturday blasted the donors' aid cut and called for an end to what she described as a "child-to-parent relationship".

Neutral force

Kabila, who has rarely spoken publicly since a controversial election victory last year, said Congo was continuing to seek diplomatic, political and military solutions to the crisis, which risks dragging the region back into conflict.

As part of efforts to defuse tension between Kinshasa and Kigali, foes during years of conflict in Congo, regional leaders brokered a deal earlier this month for a "neutral force" to be set up to take on Congo-based rebel groups.

No details of the plan have been made public but, in theory, the force would target all rebels, including the anti-Kinshasa M23 insurgents and Rwandan Hutu FDLR fighters Kigali says are a threat.

Kabila echoed earlier calls by his information minister for a new mandate for the country's UN peacekeeping mission that would include stamping out the armed groups that have destabilised the east for nearly two decades.

"How will this force be made up? We think we've already got a force in this country, the United Nations. Why can't they be transformed, and then other countries could contribute to put this force in place as quickly as possible?" he said.

The UN mission, known as Monusco, said on Friday that any decision to change its peacekeeping mandate would have to come from the Security Council.

The UN already has more than 17 000 troops in Congo as part of its peacekeeping mission. But the force is stretched thin across a nation the size of Western Europe and struggles to fulfil its mandate of protecting civilians as it is.

UN helicopter gunships frequently back up outgunned government forces but even that firepower failed to prevent rebels from taking several towns last week.

Diplomats have expressed doubts over whether a move to bolster Monusco would be welcomed by Security Council members.

Read more on:    monusco  |  joseph kabila  |  rwanda  |  drc  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.