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Uganda Blasts New Allegations of Helping Congo Rebels

  • VOA News

M23 rebel fighters watch the venue of a news conference by political leader Jean-Marie Runiga, in Bunagana, eastern DRC, in north Kivu province, July 21, 2012.

M23 rebel fighters watch the venue of a news conference by political leader Jean-Marie Runiga, in Bunagana, eastern DRC, in north Kivu province, July 21, 2012.

Uganda is denouncing a leaked United Nations report that says both Uganda and Rwanda are supporting rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo - a charge both countries have denied.

Reuters news agency said Wednesday that it obtained a copy of the 44-page report prepared by the Group of Experts, a U.N. Security Council committee.

According to Reuters, the report says Congo's M23 rebels are commanded by Rwanda's Minister of Defense James Kabarebe, and that both the Ugandan and Rwandan armies supported M23 in a series of July attacks to take over towns in Congo's Rutshuru territory.

Uganda's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday the charges are "fabricated." It said by leaking the report, which was supposed to be confidential, the Group of Experts are attempting to cause "mischief" and undermine regional efforts to end the DRC conflict.

Both Uganda and Rwanda have repeatedly denied assisting M23.

The Reuters report came out one day before Rwanda is expected to win a seat on the 15-nation Security Council.

According to Reuters, the U.N. report says M23's chain of command includes former Congolese General Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, including the alleged recruitment of child soldiers.

Eastern Congo has endured years of conflict involving the government and various armed groups, including Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army and Rwandan Hutu rebels. Efforts to integrate the Congolese groups into the army have met with only limited success.

The area is home to productive mines which many groups seek to control for financial gain.

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