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Briefly: U.N.: Rwanda behind Congo rebel force
UNITED NATIONS | The Rwandan military is commanding and supporting the rebel force that overtook a major city in eastern Congo this week, according to a U.N. report released Wednesday.
“The government of Rwanda continues to violate the arms embargo by providing direct military support to the M23 rebels, facilitating recruitment, encouraging and facilitating desertions from the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and providing arms, ammunition, intelligence and political advice,” the report said.
“The de facto chain of command of M23 includes Gen. Bosco Ntaganda and culminates with the Minister of Defense of Rwanda, Gen. James Kabarebe,” the report added.
It also accuses Uganda of involvement.
Uganda has said it would pull its troops out of U.N. peacekeeping operations if it were named in the report.
Rwanda and Uganda have denied supporting the M23 rebel movement, which Tuesday took the city of Goma, which has a population of more than 1 million.
Thousands of Congolese soldiers and police officers defected to the M23 rebels Wednesday as rebel leaders vowed to take control of all Congo, including the capital, Kinshasa.
The U.N. accuses the M23 of grave crimes including recruiting child soldiers, summary executions and rape.
“Senior officials of the Government of Uganda have also provided support to M23 in the form of direct troop reinforcements in Congolese territory, weapons deliveries, technical assistance, joint planning, political advice and facilitation of external relations,” the U.N. report said.
The M23 is made up of hundreds of officers who deserted the Congo army in April.
Earlier Wednesday, the U.N.’s special representative for Congo said the 19,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force there is being stretched thin by multiple rebel militias in the eastern part of the country, including Goma.
Sudanese army confirms attack at S. Sudan border
KHARTOUM | Sudan’s army Wednesday confirmed it attacked an area near the South Sudanese border where Darfur rebels had set up a compound, but South Sudan accused Khartoum of bombing a market area on southern territory.
“We attacked Al-Regaibat which is [25 miles] north of the international border with South Sudan and [6 miles] north of Samaha,” army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad said in a written statement.
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