Uganda official denies support of Congo rebels

[JURIST] Ugandan officials have denied allegations contained in an unreleased UN Security Council [official website] report that Uganda has assisted rebel forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Ugandan foreign affairs minister Okello Oryem vehemently denied [Al Jazeera report; video] the allegations [Reuters report] that his government has sent troops and supplies to support the the 23 March Movement (M23) rebels. M23 is a group of a group of renegade soldiers attempting to destabilize the Eastern region of the DRC. Oryem called the report "rubbish and hogwash." He noted that the UN had not sent investigators into Uganda regarding this matter. Oryem also speculated that the UN was circulating the report "because on the ground in the eastern DRC there is the biggest number of UN peacekeeping operations in the whole world with the largest budget in the whole world, and [yet] they have failed to do anything in the past five to ten years."

In August the UN Security Council [official website] reiterated their condemnation [JURIST report] of M23, and called on all foreign entities to cease aiding M23 and begin working with the Congolese government to dismantle the organization. That condemnation came two months after a report was leaked in June about Rwandan involvement in the DRC following an initial call for a halt in the violence in the region [JURIST reports]. Uganda [JURIST news archive] has drawn international criticism lately regarding its human rights record. In June Uganda's government banned 38 NGOs accused of promoting gay rights [JURIST report]. Earlier in June UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] warned [JURIST report] that the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] still poses a threat to children in Uganda.

 

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