U.S. has concerns about DRC conflict

June 7, 2012 at 12:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. government has strong lingering concerns about the continued mutiny of soldiers formerly integrated into DRC forces, a spokesman said.

Forces loyal to Gen. Bosco Ntaganda were integrated into the Congolese military under the terms of a 2009 peace deal. Wanted for war crimes since 2006, Ntaganda is accused of conscripting child soldiers to his ranks. He led a mutiny in April, however, accusing the government in the Democratic Republic of Congo of reneging on its obligations.

Mark Toner, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington supported DRC efforts to bring mutineers and those suspected of crimes against humanity, including Ntaganda, to justice.

"These efforts are an essential step toward developing a disciplined and unified Congolese army and bringing a sustainable peace to the DRC," he said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch said recently it had evidence that rebel forces in DRC were getting support from Rwanda.

"We encourage the DRC, its neighbors, and its partners to work together to prevent (rebel group) M23, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, and all other armed groups from receiving outside support in contravention of the U.N. Security Council's arms embargo on non-governmental entities and individuals operating in the DRC," he said.

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