News / Africa

Report: Rwanda Arming Rebels in Eastern DRC

Some 5,000 Congolese refugees, displaced by fighting in Congo's North Kivu province, at Nkamira transit centre, Rwanda, May 5, 2012.Some 5,000 Congolese refugees, displaced by fighting in Congo's North Kivu province, at Nkamira transit centre, Rwanda, May 5, 2012.
x
Some 5,000 Congolese refugees, displaced by fighting in Congo's North Kivu province, at Nkamira transit centre, Rwanda, May 5, 2012.
Some 5,000 Congolese refugees, displaced by fighting in Congo's North Kivu province, at Nkamira transit centre, Rwanda, May 5, 2012.
Gabe Joselow
NAIROBI -- Human Rights Watch says Rwandan military officials have been arming anti-government rebels in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The U.S.-based group also accuses Rwandan military officials of meeting personally with renegade General Bosco Ntaganda and providing him with up to 300 soldiers and weapons.

According to field research conducted by the organization, new recruits brought weapons and ammunition -- including machine guns and anti-aircraft guns -- with them across the border into the DRC.

“Many of the [soldiers] have been recruited in two districts in Rwanda, particularly Musanze and Rubavu," says HRW's senior Africa researcher, Anneke Van Woudenberg. "Some of these were civilians who were forcibly recruited, and some included children who were under the age of 18.”

The research cites witness accounts of military officials meeting with Ntaganda last month in the Rwandan town of Kinigi, near the Congolese border. Ntaganda is wanted by the International Criminal Court for recruiting children as a deputy in an armed political group that fought in northern Congo during the country's civil war.

In March, the ICC convicted Ntaganda's associate Thomas Lubanga on similar charges.

Although Ntaganda and his troops were integrated into the Congolese army as part of a 2009 peace deal, indications that DRC officials were preparing his arrest prompted Ntaganda and several hundred soldiers to mutiny.

Allowing Ntaganda into Rwanda, says Van Woudenberg, is a violation of international sanctions.

“This support in permitting Ntaganda to enter Rwanda without fear of arrest is in violation of U.N. arms embargoes," she says. "It's in violation of the sanctions list, and of course it shows there is still ongoing support for an individual wanted on an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court.”

Rwanda has denied all charges that it has supported the mutiny. In a message on Twitter Monday, Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo called the Human Rights Watch report an “act of reckless media showmanship" that will “only prolong the conflict.”

A statement from Mushikiwabo posted to the foreign ministry's website last week accused Human Rights Watch of profiting from instability in the DRC.

The eastern DRC has been plagued by continuing armed conflict and violence since the end of a civil war in 2003. The area is home to many militia groups, including the Rwandan FDLR rebels, and efforts to integrate the groups into Congo’s army have largely failed.

You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid