New Vision (Kampala)

17 April 2013

Uganda: Report Says UN Group Report On M23 Flawed

An evaluation commissioned by a US-based charity, has revealed flaws in the process of compiling the UN group of experts report which accuses Uganda of supporting M23 rebels. The flaws affect the report's authenticity.

The evaluation was carried out by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, which commissioned an independent evaluation of the UN Group of Experts reports in which Uganda and Rwanda were accused of supporting the M23 rebels.

Howard G. Buffett is the son to Warren Buffet one of the world's wealthiest people. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation is supporting programmes to bring peace and promote economic prosperity in the Great Lakes region.

The report which was prepared by independent organizations, reviewed the group of experts' findings, and evaluated whether the experts used a sound methodology to adhere to the UN mandate.

In its findings, the report says that there was a breakdown of cooperation and diplomacy between the group of experts and the Governments of Rwanda and Uganda.

"This fatally undermines the value of the Group of Experts important work and increases risk in the region," the report says.

The evaluation points out that the lack of required cooperation between the group of experts, MONUSCO, the Governments of Rwanda and Uganda, limited first-person, in-country data gathering on the issues of state-sponsored support for M23 and recruitment of ex-combatants.

"This lack of cooperation appeared to prompt an unproductive "digging in of heels" by the group of experts, the Governments of Rwanda and the Governments of Uganda, casting doubt on material questions of fact," the evaluation reads.

The final group of experts' report reads like a prosecution of Rwanda and to a lesser extent Uganda, largely ignoring the other significant factors contributing to unrest in the DR Congo, according to the evaluation.

The evaluation says that report has already led to significant, punitive actions against Rwanda, which serve only to undermine Rwanda's development, and makes it difficult for the Great Lakes region to work together to find a lasting solution to achieve peace.

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