UN releases leaked report on Rwanda aid to DRC armed forces

[JURIST] The UN on Monday released a report [text, PDF] alleging that the Rwandan government has helped to create armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] and supplied them with weapons, armor and recruits including children. The group of Experts on the DRC for the UN Security council [official website] found that Rwanda has provided material and financial support to 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. 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. The group of experts recommended that the Security Council Committee condemn the recruitment of any children by armed groups and adopt measures to sanction the individuals responsible for it. In addition, the group called on the international community that receives natural resources from the DRC to support demilitarization in the country's mining sectors.

The report was leaked to the media in late June. Foreign Policy [Foreign Policy report] magazine revealed information [JURIST report] about the report last week, causing the Rwandan government to reject the allegations. Earlier in June, 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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