Rwanda accused of supporting fighting in DRC

[Photo: DW]

Human Rights Watch has warned of a dangerous escalation of tension between ethnic Tutsi and Hutu communities in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as a result of fighting involving a militia that Rwanda is accused of backing.

It says the M23 armed group has carried out summary executions and forced recruitment of civilians.

The rights group says the militia is leaving behind a growing trail of war crimes.

It wants any military support to Rwanda to be suspended.

“We urge EU governments to publicly and strongly condemn any collusion or cooperation with armed groups operating in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in particular Rwanda’s support to the M23, and to appoint an EU special envoy to the region to facilitate dialogue processes between stakeholders,” said the rights group.

“We strongly condemn the abuses against civilians in North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri provinces, and call on the EU and its Member States to act in a firm, united, and coherent manner in order to support the peace process initiated in the Great Lakes,” it added.

The Kigali government has however denied backing the M23 group.

“We categorically refute the baseless accusations of the Congolese army, said François Habitegeko – Governor of the Rwandan Western Province.

The Rwandan army “is in no way involved in warlike activities in the DRC”, he added.

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