Rwanda is Backing M23 Rebels in DR Congo - Confidential UN Report

A United Nations Group of Experts says that it has "solid evidence" that Rwandan troops have been fighting alongside the M23 rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and providing it with weapons and support. The findings were contained in a confidential report seen by the Reuters news agency on Thursday, August 4, 2022.

Reuters reports that Rwanda has previously denied accusations by the DR Congo government that it supports the M23 and that it has sent troops into the country. The M23 has denied it receives Rwandan support.

Reuters quotes the report as saying that the UN group "obtained solid evidence of the presence of, and military operations conducted by, RDF (Rwandan Defence Force) members in Rutshuru territory between November 2021 and July 2022".

Al Jazeera reports that the 131-page report by UN Security Council experts found Rwanda launched military interventions inside Congolese territory, providing "troop reinforcements" for specific M23 operations, "in particular when these aimed at seizing strategic towns and areas".

The Rwandan New Times reports that government spokesperson, Yolande Makolo, said on Twitter that the UN Security Council received a UN Group of Experts report on DR Congo in June 2022, "which contained none of these false allegations, and a mid-term report is expected in December. This can only be a tactic to distract from the real issues".

Reuters reports that the M23 insurgency stems from the long fallout from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The group was formed in 2012, claiming to defend the interests of Congolese Tutsis, the ethnic group shared by Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, against Hutu militias. Since May 2022, the M23 has waged a sustained offensive, killing dozens and displacing tens of thousands of people. The M23's resurgence has inflamed regional tensions and spurred deadly protests against the UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo, which civilians accuse of failing to protect them, Reuters says.


In the context of the ongoing operations against the M23 rebellion in Rusthuru, MONUSCO's Moroccan peacekeepers conduct long-range patrols in the territory to protect civilians, including thousands of displaced people fleeing insecurity in the region.


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