A UN group of specialists finds ‘stable proof’ that Kigali is supporting M23 fighters regardless of repeated denials.
Rwandan troops attacked troopers inside DR Congo and aided the M23 insurgent group with weapons and assist, a United Nations group of specialists mentioned, citing “stable proof” regardless of reiterated denials by Kigali.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo repeatedly accused Rwanda of backing the militia, which stems from the lengthy fallout from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and has captured swathes of territory in latest months. Kigali repeatedly denied supporting M23 and the armed group maintains it doesn’t obtain Rwandan assist.
A 131-page report by United Nations Safety Council specialists discovered Rwanda launched navy interventions inside Congolese territory since at the very least November 2021, offering “troop reinforcements” for particular M23 operations, “specifically when these aimed toward seizing strategic cities and areas”.
DRC authorities spokesman Patrick Muyaya welcomed the work of the UN group on Thursday. “The reality all the time triumphs ultimately. We hope that conclusions shall be drawn shortly to place an finish to Rwanda’s interference and convey again lasting peace,” Muyaya wrote on Twitter.
The UN specialists discovered proof that M23 fighters and Rwandan troops “collectively attacked” a big DRC military base in Rumangabo, in japanese North Kivu province, on Could 25, a day after Rwandan forces had crossed into the DRC.
An estimated 1,000 Rwandan troops additionally reduce the principle freeway resulting in the provincial capital Goma, an vital industrial hub on the Rwandan border, and attacked Congolese positions, it mentioned.
“On repeated events, aerial imagery confirmed giant columns of as much as 500 armed males within the neighborhood of the DRC, Rwandan and Ugandan borders, shifting in a really organized method,” the skilled group mentioned.
The columns of troopers wore “standardized navy apparel” that bore shut resemblance to Rwandan military uniforms, the report added.
Some 300 Rwandan troops additionally carried out operations in opposition to insurgent teams in japanese DRC, such because the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Rwandan Hutu insurgent group that Kigali views as a risk.
The UN report additionally discovered the Congolese military supported militias energetic within the east of the nation.
A coalition of armed teams fashioned in Could with the information of Congolese officers, the report mentioned. Leaders of a number of militias confirmed to the specialists that the Congolese military offered them with weapons and munitions “on a number of events”, it added.
The DRC and Rwanda have had strained relations because the mass inflow of Rwandan Hutus accused of slaughtering Tutsis throughout the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
The M23 was fashioned in 2012 claiming to defend the pursuits of Congolese Tutsis, a gaggle sharing the ethnicity of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, in opposition to Hutu militias.
Since Could, the M23 has waged its most sustained offensive in years, killing dozens and displacing tens of hundreds of individuals. By July, it managed a territory nearly thrice as giant because it did in March, the UN group mentioned.
The M23’s resurgence has infected regional tensions and spurred lethal protests in opposition to the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC, which civilians accuse of failing to guard them.