Home » Breaking News, World News » Defected Congolese Rebel Fighters Say They Were Recruited in Rwanda

By Mirembe Martina

A new report has been released by the UN stating that those defecting from the Congo rebel group, M23 confess to being recruited by Rwanda.

According to BBC, a senior UN official made the revelation. With this revelation, more evidence is emerging pinning Rwanda on its aid to the M23 rebels who are traumatizing Congo and driving out families from their homes and country in general.

With the new evidence at hand, the United Kingdom (UK) and Netherlands have joined the US in withholding aid which was supposed to be given to the country until they get reassurance from Kigali that the reports are actually wrong.

A UN report revealed that Rwanda was supporting the M23 rebels in Congo who defected from the Congolese army and waged war on their own. However, wife to Minister of foreign affairs, Mrs Mushikiwabo explained to UN experts visiting the country this week saying that any decision to suspend aid based on the UN report was “taken on evidence that does not exist”. “More importantly I think it’s a wake-up call for Rwanda and other aid recipient countries to actually start fending for ourselves and figure out a way to sustain our development without being subjected to bullying and pressure from donors,” she said.

The aid in the country from both the UK and Netherlands was supposed to help in budget support for the country. Total UK aid to Rwanda in the year 2012-13 is projected to be about $118m while from Netherlands was worth $6.14m and was supposed to improve the country’s judicial system.

M23 is led by General Bosco Ntaganda from the Tutsi ethnic group who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.

According to BBC, a senior UN peacekeeping official speaking off record said there were 30 former members of the M23 who were being debriefed.  The defectors said they had been recruited in Rwanda, but were sent into DR Congo to find themselves fighting with the M23.

The rebels are armed with weapons not used by the Congolese army, speak English – unlike most Congolese – have unusual uniforms and undertake night attacks – something the Congolese army does not do, the official said.