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.