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Rwandan Government Delegation Attacks UN Expert Steve Hege at the UN Security Council

On Tuesday August 28, 2012 afternoon, the delegation of the Rwandan Government was in front of the UN Security Council in New York. The Rwandan delegation composed of four representatives was led by Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister and Government spokeswoman Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo and included the Security Adviser of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Maj Patrick Karuretwa. The mission of the delegation was to provide a rebuttal on allegations contained in UN Experts’ report accusing Rwanda Government and Defense Forces of proving military support, training, and funding to the Congolese M23 rebels.
According to sources at the United Nations, the Rwandan argumentation centered around personal attacks on the UN Group Experts head, Steve Hege. The almost one hour presentation tried to make the Rwandan case by questioning the statements by the experts regarding a certain Rwandan military officer Janvier Saddat, 75 mm artillery owned by M23 rebels, and the graves of Rwandan soldiers killed in the DRC while supporting M23 rebels.
Rwandan Government argued that Janvier Saddat is not a Rwandan officer, but rather an ex-CNDP integrated within FARDC and that the 75 mm artillery came from ex-CNDP. Ex-CNDP were also supported, funded and trained by Rwandan Defense Forces.
Rwandan delegation also defended General Jack Nziza, the top Rwandan military intelligence head accused of coordinating M23 rebels’ operations. Rwandan delegation to have a solid alibi for General Nziza. The delegation said the allegations are a fabrication by Steve Hege and accused the latter of being unsympathetic to and biased against the Rwandan Government.
According to the same sources, the Rwandan Government attacks on Steve Hege appeared rather a “poisoning the well” strategy aimed at avoiding addressing the core findings by UN Experts.
The support of Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) to M23 rebels has been an open secret and confirmed by a multitude of sources including the Congolese local population, UN Mission in DRC MONUSCO, non government organizations such as Human Rights Watch, DRC Government and other international institutions and foreign governments (see our articles on the subject, including here and here and here)
It is expected that the DRC Government delegation will also make its case, in support of the findings by the UN Experts on DRC.

©2012 AfroAmerica Network.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Frank Nzanda August 31, 2012, 12:29 pm

    Rwanda is still recruiting to arm M23. I personally know of a group of youth who live in Goma and have gone to Rwanda “on work mission”. They are being trained and others are being given special forces training then deployed in Eastern Congo-DRC in North-Kivu. It is appalling! Rwanda is arming the Rai Mutomboki. Rai Mutomboki is systematically killing any congolese Hutu they find on their way. they are burning down villages and crops. Congolese Hutu are being exterminated in Eastern Congo-DRC, this is a case of genocide and the UN security council should immediately vote sanctions against Rwanda and also they should put in place a tribunal maybe extend the powers of the Arusha tribunal to judge and sanction crimes committed in eastern Congo-DRC.

  • Conor August 29, 2012, 4:26 pm

    Shame on UN, shame on HRW!!! That country has been suffering without any assistance, 1 million Tutsi have been massacred and now you cut the aid pretending that they are helping rebels in Congo!! Shame on you!!