UN experts claim Rwandan troops have been fighting alongside M23 rebels in DRC

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A group of United Nations (UN) experts say they have solid evidence that Rwandan troops have been fighting alongside the M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and providing them with weapons.

The damning allegation was contained in a report submitted to member states of the UN Security Council.

Rwanda has, however, dismissed the report as baseless. The report by the UN group of experts says the Rwanda Defence Force provided troop reinforcement to the M23 rebels for operations aimed at capturing strategic towns in eastern DRC.

The authors of the report presented the UN Security Council with evidence based on drone footage and eyewitness accounts about Rwanda’s alleged support to the rebels. But Rwanda’s government spokesperson, Yolande Makolo has dismissed the report as false and said it is a tactical distraction from the real issues.

The DRC government has repeatedly accused Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels who re-emerged in North Kivu province late last year.

Congolese Communications Minister Patrick Muyaya said that the government rejoiced at the conclusion of the report and hoped it would put an end to Rwandan interference.

The M23 leadership is largely composed of ethnic Tutsis who claim to defend the interests of Congo’s Tutsi community. They accuse the DRC government of failing to honour a peace deal signed in 2013. That deal was supposed to integrate some of their fighters into the Congolese army.

The rebel movement is currently in control of the strategic eastern town of Bunagana and several other villages which they captured in June.

Author-Chris Ocamringa