Rwanda assisting armed forces in DRC: report

[JURIST] The Rwandan government has helped to create armed groups including M23, which has been conducting a mutiny in North Kivu Province under the leadership of a particularly notorious group of human rights violators, and supplied them with weapons, armor and recruits including children, the Foreign Policy [Foreign Policy report] magazine reported on Tuesday. According to a leaked UN report that is yet to be released, Rwanda has provided material and financial support to armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The report was based on investigations since late 2011 that revealed substantial evidence of the alleged assistance by the Rwandan government including the systematic military and political support to M23. Rwanda's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Louise Mushikiwabo on Monday rejected the allegations and stated that the Rwandan government has urged the armed groups to cease their violence against civilians rather than supported them. On Wednesday, Mushikiwabo also expressed her disappointment [allAfrica report] over the letter that the DRC sent to the UN Security Council [official website] last week accusing [The Africa Report] the Rwandan government of involvement in the mutiny in the eastern part of the country.

Earlier this month, Rwanda was urged to stop [JURIST report] assisting accused DRC war criminal, General Bosco Ntaganda [case materials], who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. In 2010, a UN report claimed [JURIST report] that troops from Rwanda had committed crimes in the DRC that could amount to genocide. The unrest in the eastern part of the DRC has been the focus of the international community. Last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] expressed concern [press release; JURIST report] about the safety of the civilians in the region. Last month, former ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official website] sought [JURIST report] the immediate arrest of Ntaganda along with Sylvestre Mudacumura [ICC fact sheet, PDF], a foreign militia leader in the DRC.

 

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