Monday October 22 2012

Uganda’s defence minister dismisses UN report on Congo

By Agencies

Uganda’s Defense Minister Dr Crispus Kiyonga has told a delegation of cultural leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo that Uganda is not supporting M23 rebels in the eastern part of that country.

He told a 300-member delegation of the Bayira-Banandi, a group of ethnic Bakonzo from eastern DRC that the UN report was based on assumptions.

This was during the 46th coronation anniversary of Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere, the king of Bakonzo in Kasese town on Friday.

Dr Kiyonga said Uganda cannot support negative forces in the DRC when it is championing a peace processes there.

This comes after a leaked UN report to the media last week accusing Uganda and Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels to overthrow the DRC government. The UN Security Council's Group of Experts said in a confidential report that Rwanda and Uganda - despite their strong denials – had continued to support M23 rebels in their six-month fight against the DRC government in North Kivu province.

The UN group, monitors compliance with sanctions and an arms embargo on the DRC.

Dr Kiyonga said Uganda is leading other countries in the Great Lakes region to make sure that negative forces fighting in the Eastern DRC are dealt with accordingly.

The minister said President Yoweri Museveni assigned him the duty of coordinating the peace process adding that he has on several times been to the DRC to mediate a peace plan between the government and leaders of the M23 rebels.