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Rwanda denies role in DRC conflict

Jan. 24, 2014 at 1:03 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A Rwandan envoy to the United Nations said there was no credibility to suggestions Rwanda is supporting the M23 rebel movement in Democratic Republic of Congo.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said last week Rwanda and Uganda are suspected of harboring high-ranking members of the March 23 rebel movement, many of whom are accused of committing grave human rights abuses.

M23 rebelled against the DRC government in 2012 and took control over eastern parts of the country before U.N. peacekeepers intervened. A U.N. peacekeeping mission in DRC is mandated to use force to help ensure peace in the country.

Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda's deputy envoy to the United Nations, said he was protesting a report from a U.N. group of experts that says M23 is actively recruiting fighters inside Rwanda.

"They didn't even consult us as Rwanda," he was quoted as saying by Voice of America in a report published Friday. "How can you have so serious accusations against Rwanda and not consult Rwanda?"

Conflict in the region is pitted along Tutsi and Hutu ethnic divisions, the same divisions that sparked the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s. Rwanda has long denied it's playing a role in conflict gripping neighboring DRC.

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