Rebel violence escalates in DRC

July 10, 2012 at 11:28 AM
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KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 10 (UPI) -- The U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo expressed concern about ongoing violence carried out by advancing rebel forces.

The rebel group known as M23, which consists of former Congolese soldiers, is likely responsible for the displacement of around 100,000 people in DRC who've fled the violence to Rwanda and Uganda.

The peacekeeping mission, known by its French initials MONUSCO, said M23 leaders are accountable for gross violations of human rights in DRC. Crimes were allegedly committed during a raid on a prison in the east of the country, leading to the release of detainees, the peacekeeping mission said.

M23 is a rebel group that mutinied in April. Former rebel groups were incorporated into the DRC military under the terms of a 2006 peace agreement. Rebel Gen. Bosco Ntaganda says the government has reneged on its agreement.

Ntaganda, leader of M23, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes allegedly committed during conflicts in DRC in the early 2000s.

Last week, the International Committee of the Red Cross said DRC civilians were suffering the most from the violence that's gripped the country since April.

The U.N. Security Council last month extended the mandate for MONUSCO until June 30, 2013.

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