Uganda and Rwanda back proxies, plunder resources in eastern DRC — UN experts

The Ugandan army has supported the M23 rebels operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), while some 3,000-4,000 Rwandan soldiers fought alongside them, a recent United Nations report said, as escalating clashes in the mineral rich region fuel fears of a new all-out conflict.
A part of the UN expert report reportedly details the continued involvement of Uganda and Rwanda in plundering DRC’s resources and arming militia groups. The UN Security Council’s group of experts has also said that Kigali had “de facto control” of the M23 rebel group’s operations while Uganda is still conducting joint operations with the DRC troops against a rebel Ugandan group. The DRC has been plagued by conflicts for decades. Uganda and Rwanda invaded their neighbor in 1996 and 1998 for what they said was defense against local militia groups, but both are now accused of continuing to back proxies in the neighboring country’s mineral rich east, despite officially withdrawing their troops.
Meanwhile, in late 2021, M23 (March 23 Movement) waged a fresh rebellion in the troubled region. A year later, 1,000 Ugandan troops were part of an East African Community (EAC) force deployed to monitor a ceasefire with the M23, but Congolese authorities called for the force to withdraw last year, saying it was ineffective. The UN report also points to evidence confirming active support for M23 by officials from Uganda’s military and military intelligence, with M23 leaders traveling to the country for meetings. However, some experts have expressed their concerns that these revelations could undermine DRC’s fragile peace deal which was sealed in July, ending a five-year war that claimed over three million lives.

About Geraldine Boechat 2757 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia