The United Nations Wednesday said Rwanda and Uganda are supporting and sending weapons to rebel insurgents in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, according to reports.
A confidential report that was viewed by a Reuters reporter said that the two countries are supporting the M23 rebellion, which has lasted for around six months. The rebels are battling the Congolese army for control of parts of the northeastern North Kivu province, which has an abundance of minerals.
Rwandan Defense Minister General James Kabarebe is essentially leading the rebels and is in charge of their chain of command, the report said. High-level Ugandan officials also provided the M23 with reinforcements as well as “weapons deliveries, technical assistance, joint planning, political advice and facilitation of external relations,” according to the news agency.
It added that General Bosco Ntaganda, a notorious militia commander known as “the Terminator” wanted by the International Criminal Court, leads the M23 rebellion on the ground.
Both Rwanda and Uganda strongly denied claims made in the U.N. report.
Ugandan Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem told the BBC that the U.N. is trying to blame his country for failing in its peacekeeping efforts in the region, following the Congo Wars, which lasted from 1996 until 2003, and left millions dead.
Olivier Nduhungirehe, a senior Rwandan diplomat, also told the broadcaster that the U.N. is moving in on “a political agenda that has nothing to do with getting at the true causes of conflict in the eastern DRC.”
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