UN experts: Rwanda backing militarily M23 rebels in eastern Congo

UN experts: Rwanda backing militarily M23 rebels in eastern Congo

There is “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, according to a United Nations group of experts.

Despite repeated denials by Kigali, there is “solid evidence” that Rwandan troops attacked soldiers inside DR of Congo and aided the M23 rebel group with weapons and support, a United Nations group of experts has said.

The DRC has repeatedly accused Rwanda of backing the militia, which stems from the long fallout from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and has captured swathes of territory in recent months. Kigali repeatedly denied supporting M23 and the armed group maintains it does not receive Rwandan support.

A 131-page report by UN Security Council experts found Rwanda launched military interventions inside Congolese territory since at least November 2021, providing “troop reinforcements” for specific M23 operations, “in particular when these aimed at seizing strategic towns and areas”. But Rwanda’s government has said in a statement it would not comment on an “unpublished and unvalidated report,” adding that an earlier report by the experts’ group in June “contained none of these false allegations”.

Across the border in DRC, the government welcomed the work of the UN group, saying that “the truth always triumphs in the end. We hope that conclusions will be drawn quickly to put an end to Rwanda’s interference and bring back lasting peace.”

The UN experts found evidence that, in late May, M23 fighters and Rwandan troops “jointly attacked” a large DRC army base in eastern North Kivu province only a day after Rwandan forces had crossed into the DRC.

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