The government of Uganda has denied reports that it is supporting the M23 rebel group fighting the government of Democratic Republic of Congo. The M23 group is said to be commandeered by General Bosco Ntaganda, wanted by the International Criminal Court on alleged war crimes. Uganda’s denial follows a report by the U.N. Security Council on Thursday which demanded a stop to foreign support for the M23 rebels fighting against the Kinshasa government in the east of the country. The council, comprising 15 nations issued a statement voicing its strong condemnation of any and all outside support to the M23 and demand that all support to the M23, including from outside countries, cease immediately.”
About 500, 000 people have been displaced by the fighting between the Kinshasa-government and the rebels, which broke out in April. The statement further called upon all countries in the region to cooperate actively with the Congolese authorities in dismantling and demobilising the rebels. Rwanda has also denied backing the M23 rebels. Uganda’s acting minister of foreign affairs Henry Okello Oryem says this is mere talk which is intended to sour relationship of the Uganda and DRC. Oryem says that Uganda and DRC are at peace. He adds that to prove this, Uganda has invited both the Rwanda president Paul Kagame and his DRC counterpart, Joseph Kabila to be part of the extra-ordinary summit of the International Conference of the Great Lakes, scheduled for 5-8 August.
The summit comes in wake of an interim report by the UN’s panel of experts accusing Rwanda of backing the rebels.State minister in charge of regional cooperation Asuman Kiyingi says much as there are ADF rebels are in DRC, Uganda has not pursued them. “It is not true at all that we are supporting the M23 rebels. We have no any kind of cooperation with them. Uganda is the chair of the International Conference of Great Lakes Region; we try to mediate in all member countries.” Kiyingi said. Uganda is scheduled to host regional leaders next week to discuss the conflict in DRC. Kiyingi said they want the ICGLR to talk about all such issues. ICGLR is an 11 member state organisation comprising Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, DRC, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.
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