Rwandan army 'supporting DRC rebels'

2012-06-04 10:26
Bosco Ntaganda, the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) chief of staff. (AFP)

Bosco Ntaganda, the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) chief of staff. (AFP)

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

Goma - Officials within the Rwandan military have provided up to 300 fighters as well as weapons and ammunition to rebels battling government forces in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.

Rwanda denies backing the rebellion in the mountainous east of DRC, which has for the last two months pitted the army against troops loyal to Bosco Ntaganda, a renegade DRC general wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Kigali has a history of supporting armed groups in DRC, citing a need to pursue Rwandan rebel fighters linked to the country's 1994 genocide, but has also faced accusations of contributing to the ongoing violence and pillaging the region's vast mineral wealth.

The US-based campaign group Human Rights Watch said Rwandan army officials had recruited as many as 300 fighters in Rwanda and sent them across the border to fight for Ntaganda in recent weeks.

It has also provided assault rifles, anti-aircraft artillery and ammunition to the rebels who are currently holed up on three hills just a few kilometres from the Rwandan border, the rights group said in a report.

"The role played by some Rwandan military officials in supporting and harbouring an ICC war crimes suspect can't just be swept under the rug," Anneke Van Woudenberg, HRW's senior Africa researcher, said.

DRC military officials have estimated that the rebels reached their current position in Rutshuru territory, North Kivu province, with around 300 fighters, meaning that if HRW's claims are correct, Rwandan recruits would have effectively doubled the size of their force.

Ntaganda was spotted talking to a Rwandan military officer by witnesses in the Rwandan town of Kinigi on 26 May, according to HRW, which also reported that at least six rebels had been executed after trying to desert.

"Rwanda should immediately stop all support to Ntaganda and assist in his arrest," Van Woudenberg said.

The report did not go as far as explicitly accusing the Rwandan government of approving support within the military for the rebels, but called on Kigali to make sure it was stopped.

Rwanda's foreign minister last week accused Human Rights Watch and other non-state actors of trying to destabilise the region and of spreading false rumours over its involvement in the rebellion.

The government of Democratic Republic of Congo has said it is jointly investigating the claims with Rwanda, which risk seriously damaging relations between the two countries.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  human rights watch  |  bosco ntaganda  |  rwanda  |  drc
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

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Modderdam 14:07 PM
Road name: Robert Sobukwe Road

TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Amandel Road

Bellville 13:23 PM
Road name: N1 Outbound

ROADWORKS - left lane after the Old Oak Road exit

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop 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

It is the end of the month and there may be a strong focus on organising finances. You may have found a need to reconstruct or...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.