News24

We aren't backing DRC rebels – Uganda

2012-08-03 12:55

Kampala - Uganda on Friday denied backing insurgents in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, a day after the UN Security Council called for "outside countries" to halt support for the rebellion.

"The members of the Security Council reiterate their strong condemnation of any and all outside support to the M23 [rebels] and demand that all support to the movement, including from outside countries, cease immediately," a UN statement said Thursday, without naming any countries.

"That is rubbish, categorically rubbish and, I can repeat, rubbish," Henry Okello Oryem, Uganda's acting foreign minister told a press conference on Friday.

"Those who point the finger at the government of Uganda are mischievous, are spoilers and do not want the best for this region," he added.

Uganda is hosting a summit of regional leaders next week in Kampala aimed at resolving the current instability in the DRC, as rebels have taken a series of towns along the border with Uganda.

The M23 group, led by Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, broke away from the DR Congo army in April to launch an uprising.

The well-equipped mutineers are now closing in on the Nord Kivu provincial capital of Goma, in the region bordering Uganda and Rwanda.

A report by a UN panel has accused Rwanda of backing the rebellion, an allegation repeated by DRC President Joseph Kabila. Kigali has denied the charges.

Accusations that Kampala is also backing the M23 have come from Congolese civil society groups.

Oryem said that both Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame had given assurances that they would attend the Kampala summit.

"There is ongoing contact between presidents Kabila and Kagame ahead of the meeting, which is very useful," Oryem said.