NEW YORK, 7 January 2021 – Neighboring Burundi and Rwanda carried out military operations in eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), the UN says.
The 200-page report by a United Nations Panel of Experts alleges that “from late 2019 to early October 2020, members of the Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) were present in North Kivu”.
“The Burundian army, alongside members of the Imbonerakure, also launched attacks on South Kivu between November 2019 and July 2020,” the report first relased in late December alleged.
Both Kigali and Gitega have denied fielding any operations in DR Congo.
The authors underlined that these invterventions were conducted “in violation of the sanctions regime” because they were not reported to the United Nations committee responsible for ensuring compliance.
The authors say their report has several pieces of evidence to back up the accusations they make, including documents, photographs, aerial images, etc.
The panel of experts further explained that it had documented the presence of Rwandan forces in Nyiragongo, Rutshuru and Masisi in North Kivu.
The report added: “Sixty members of the RDF carrying 18 PKM machine-guns and our rocket launchers” were reportedly observed on 2 October 2020 on Mount Rugomba in Rutshuru territory.
The Kivu Security Tracker – a security barometer set up by Human Rights Watch and the New York University-based Congo Research Group, has repeatedly asserted that Rwandan forces have been fighting alongside the FaRDC in varioius operations.