US concerned over mutiny in east DRC

2012-06-07 12:06

Washington - The United States voiced concern on Wednesday at an ongoing mutiny in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and urged outside parties not to support rebel soldiers in the war-ravaged country.

The mutineers, known as the March 23 movement, are former Congolese Tutsi rebels who joined the army under a March 2009 peace deal but defected earlier this year, complaining of poor treatment.

Kinshasa says the mutiny is led by Bosco Ntaganda, a former rebel military chief who is now wanted by the International Criminal Court for enlisting child soldiers.

Washington is "concerned by the continued mutiny of officers and soldiers formerly integrated into the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC] and now operating in Nord-Kivu province", said State Department spokesperson Mark Toner.

"We support the Congolese government's efforts to discourage further defections and to bring to justice alleged human rights abusers among the mutinous forces, including Bosco Ntaganda," Toner said.

"These efforts are an essential step toward developing a disciplined and unified Congolese army and bringing a sustainable peace to the DRC."

At least 200 mutineers have been killed in the eastern DRC since fighting broke out in April, an army report released Wednesday said.

The first official death toll released by Kinshasa also said 40 army troops have been killed in the clashes.

Human Rights Watch said in a report earlier this week that Rwanda, whose regime is largely Tutsi, was supporting the fugitive Ntaganda by allowing him to cross the border freely and providing him with weapons and recruits.

Kigali has vehemently denied the charge.

"We encourage the DRC, its neighbours, and its partners to work together to prevent M23... and all other armed groups from receiving outside support in contravention of the UN Security Council's arms embargo on non-governmental entities and individuals operating in the DRC," Toner said.

  • Multi - 2012-06-07 14:38

    Ha ,ha , ha , ha , ha...they are barbarians! I have been there for 3 years. Now you see Labour Contractors trying to place people there for absolute ridicules low and pathetic clue what is going on there! The country is raided by selfishness as there are no laws, no rules and no regulations...Companies (huge Companies) enjoy this and ex-pats gets screwed on daily bases with bogus contracts and no protection what so ever. Cost of living is almost 7 times more expensive than in SA. Think 7 times before you decide to go to DRC!!!

      Carla - 2012-06-07 15:13

      And you find it amusing???

  • jeanclaude.murhandikire - 2012-06-07 16:22

    I believe DRC can one day get better once Rwanda stop interfering with its internal affairs...we Congolais are no killers,we respect humain race, everything that is busy happening in the DRC has nothing to do with true people of this country.Kagame need to be stopped! i beg the international commity to act against those demons, heartless murderers and thieves,busy commiting huge crimes on innoscent people of this beautifull country of mine.

      Multi - 2012-06-07 19:29

      jeanclaude, I personally know of people that recently tried to protect your people by reporting fraud, corruption and exploitation of Congolese workers... guess what happened to them? They where first harassed by the presidential guards, then the police, then the dgm and eventually chased and deported from Congo...and this was in the Katanga province in Kolwezi and Tenke, not close to Burundi or Rwanda! Bottom line is that everyone is for his own pocket and all about making dollars!!

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