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DRC Accuses Kigali of Supporting Rebel Army General

Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila's government is reportedly accusing Rwanda of supporting rebel incursions, a move that Kinshasa says could escalate diplomatic tension between the two countries. The Kabila government says Kigali is sending troops across the border and fighting in support of renegade General Laurent Nkunda's rebel group. Rwanda has denied the charge. This comes after the United Nations condemned the renegade general for saying he would launch an offensive to take over the country. Jack Kahora is the VOA correspondent. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from Goma near North Kivu Province the Kabila government says it has proof to support its claims.

"The condition at the moment is really sad because clashes resumed yesterday (Wednesday) and the fact were very strong and made some people aware in the villages to move to the IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps. And today there is a serious humanitarian crisis in the region and with the fighting, which is ongoing there are increasing number of IDP'S, which makes it the more serious," Kahora said.

He said humanitarian agencies are finding it challenging to reach out to the displaced persons because of the escalated clashes between the army and the rebels.

"Today it has been quite difficult to have access to most of the Internally displaced persons (IDP) who have been running way from their homes since the end of the month of August up till now. So, it is really a crisis that needs everyone's attention and the authorities here are speaking about it claiming there are about over a million and half people so far displaced because of the ongoing clashes. And this is a very serious situation," he said.

Kahora said Kinshasa's accusation is based evidence that it claims to have gathered in the areas where Rwandan forces have allegedly visited.

"This depends on the different sources they have been collecting. I was told by the administrator of the territory of Rituru, that is Domic Bofundo, who said that all the clashes, which are taking place in his area when they go on the battlefield to collect the bodies of those soldiers who have died, the identity cards on these demised soldiers, they find that those are of Rwanda. He also said sometimes the retrieved mobile phones on these soldiers were from Rwanda because when they used the phones all the numbers including the phones had Rwandan numbers or are from Kigali," Kahora pointed out.

He said diplomatic tensions between Kinshasa and Kigali are high.

"It is true that the relationships are not good with these two countries because since 1996 and 1998, all the wars, which occurred in the region and even today, are as a result of the bad relationship between the authorities in both countries are not in good shape. If you would remember here is an organization, which works with all neighboring countries including DRC, Rwanda and Burundi to resolve issues, the government of Kinshasa does not welcome the organization in the country. So, this goes a long way to show how porous the relationship between Kigali and Kinshasa even though the United States and the European Union were being the establishment of the organization," he said.