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DRC rebels claim Rwandan support

Nov. 29, 2012 at 11:05 AM   |   Comments

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Fighters identifying themselves as former Congolese rebels told the BBC they were receiving orders to fight the government from Rwanda.

International delegates are meeting in Uganda to find a way to halt fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Forces with the March 23 movement, a military group that mutinied this year, seized control of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, last week.

Capt. Okra Rudahirwa, who was identified as a former rebel, told the BBC his soldiers were fighting DRC forces about 125 miles south of Goma as a grassroots movement.

"Then our chairman of this movement came with a delegation of the government of Rwanda, saying that the movement has been changed, we have to follow the instructions of the Rwanda government," he was quoted as saying.

The Rwandan government has been accused of backing M23, an allegation it denies.

The government had supported DRC rebels in the past as a way to combat Hutu militias who fled the country after the 1994 genocide. M23 consists mainly of ethnic Tutsis, who hold power in Rwanda.

The U.N. Security Council this week extended sanctions, including an arms embargo, against rebel forces fighting in eastern DRC. The world body added it was planning to specifically target M23 leaders.

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