Rwanda Rejects UN Panel Report

The Rwandan government has dismissed a report by a U.N. panel of experts which accuses Kigali of supporting Tutsi rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo led by renegade general Laurent Nkunda.

The report, which the U.N. Security Council is expected to debate later this week, recommends expanding a list of individuals and firms facing U.N. sanctions for supporting rebels in Congo.

Kennedy Ndahiro, executive editor of The New Times, Rwanda's first daily newspaper, told VOA from Kigali, the Rwandan government has described the report as bias and inaccurate.

"The minister of foreign affairs has now said the whole thing is a U.N. failure. He said the U.N. has failed (to resolve the conflict) in Congo and so it is turning around to blame other people. Actually Rwanda said the report has got no basis," he said.

Ndahiro said Rwanda also dismissed the report's conclusion that Kigali has been helping renegade general Laurent Nkunda's rebel group known as the CNDP.

"The thing is so funny because right now as we are speaking, Rwanda and Congo have just signed a historical agreement whereby Rwanda and Congo will work together to approach the Rwanda rebels in the Congo. And then to find out that U.N. is bringing up this report at this time. So they wonder what is the motivation for this report at this time. And so Rwanda said that this guy is trying to cover their failures," Ndahiro said.

He said the Rwandan government also rejected the panel's conclusion of CNDP rebels having Rwanda bank count.

"Everyone can open a bank account, and opening a bank account in Rwanda by a Congolese national is just like they can open a bank account anywhere. The foreign minister said Nkunda's group is well organized; it's organized in many countries, in Europe, in America, and in Africa and everywhere. And in this case they are collecting money. They've got ways of collecting money through the Internet and stuff like that," he said.

Ndahiro said the Rwandan government also rejected the panel's claim Congo rebels telephone logs originating from Rwanda.

"The government said the telephone logs are a joke because they are saying these guys of have been putting pressure on us to talk to Nkunda, to try and help them out. But when it comes talking to Nkunda there is no way you can contact Nkunda without calling him. And the government also said that they are not the only ones who are calling Nkunda. They said even world leaders are calling Nkunda," Ndahiro said.

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