Kabila points finger at Rwanda over rebel support
Democratic Republic of Congo’s president Joseph Kabila has directly accused neighbouring Rwanda of backing rebels hostile to his government, saying it was an “open secret” that Mr Kigali was meddling in Congo’s volatile eastern borderlands.
Rwanda is under increasing pressure after a United Nations experts’ report found it was providing support to the M23 rebels who have fought government soldiers in North Kivu province since April, displacing some 470,000 civilians.
Mr Kigali has repeatedly rejected the allegations and accused the report’s authors of failing to verify their information or consult Rwandan authorities.
Mr Kabila commented for the first time on the growing row between the two uneasy neighbours during a rare news conference broadcast on state television on Saturday night.
“As for the involvement of Rwanda …It’s an open secret. You know, the whole world knows. There is a report that effectively establishes the presence and active backing from this country to the M23 and to other armed groups,” he said.
The president said his government had also requested an explanation from another eastern neighbour, Uganda, of persistent rumours that its soldiers were involved in the fighting.
Major donors the United States, Britain, the Netherlands and Germany have all suspended some of their financial aid to Rwanda over its alleged backing of the rebels, who have links to Bosco Ntaganda, a warlord who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges.
Rwanda is often celebrated for its growth and development following a long recovery from a 1994 genocide that killed some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
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