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UN accuses Rwanda of backing M23 rebels in DRC

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A group of experts working with the United Nations have accused Rwanda of giving support to the M23 rebels who are have been staging attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo despite repeated denials by the DRC.

The experts said it finds ‘solid evidence’ that Kigali is supporting M23 fighters despite repeated denials following a resurgence of the militia inflamed regional tensions and spurred deadly protests against the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC last week.

The 131-page report presented to the United Nations Security Council by the experts said Rwanda had launched military interventions inside Congolese territory since November 2021, as well as providing “troop reinforcements for specific M23 operations, in particular when these aimed at seizing strategic towns and areas”.

The UN experts said they also found evidence that M23 fighters and Rwandan troops jointly attacked a large DRC army base in Rumangabo, in eastern North Kivu province, on May 25, a day after Rwandan forces had crossed into the DRC.

“On repeated occasions, aerial imagery showed large columns of up to 500 armed men in the vicinity of the DRC, Rwandan and Ugandan borders, moving in a very organized manner,” the expert group said.

But spokesman for the Rwandan government, Yolande Makolo, said in a statement that the government would not comment on an “unpublished and unvalidated report,” stating that an earlier report by the experts’ group in June “contained none of these false allegations.”

A DRC government spokesman, Patrick Muyaya, said his country welcomed the work of the UN group.

“The truth always triumphs in the end. We hope that conclusions will be drawn quickly to put an end to Rwanda’s interference and bring back lasting peace,” Muyaya said.

Metro

UN peacekeeping mission to resume operations in Mali month after suspension

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Barely a month after the Malian junta suspended operations of UN peacekeeping troops on its soil, a spokesperson of the mission has confirmed that mission will resume again on Monday.

Malian authorities in a statement in July suspended all rotations of the military and police contingents of the United Nations Mission in Mali (UNMIS). The suspension was in continuation of its position of severing foreign relations, the suspension includes UN mission that are already scheduled.

The spokesperson said the mission and Malian authorities had agreed on a streamlined rotation procedure and that the mission’s request to resume rotations on Monday had been accepted.

Mali’s foreign ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.

Relations between Mali and troop-contributing countries remain strained. On Friday, Germany said it was suspending its military reconnaissance mission, which provides intelligence to MINUSMA, after Malian authorities withheld a flight clearance

Mali under the current Junta of Colonel Goita has been on a thread of breaking diplomatic relations with allies.

It started by breaking defense alliance with the French, the junta also quit the anti-jihadist force, G-5 force but has enjoyed good relationship with Russia.

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15 African migrants found dead in the Libyan-Sudan border desert

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At least 15 African migrants were found dead on Saturday in the desert on the Libyan borders with Sudan, with authorities saying the tragedy involved migrants seeking a better life in Europe while perilous journeys through the deserts and the Mediterranean Sea.

The discovery of the victims was made by the Libyan Department for Combating Irregular Migration, in the southeastern city of Kufra, which said the migrants were on their way from Sudan to Libya when their vehicle broke down due to lack of fuel.

The agency, in a statement, said nine other migrants survived while two remain missing in the desert.

It added that there were women and children among the migrants, but did not elaborate on how many they were.

It also did not reveal causes of the migrants’ death, but said they did not have enough food and water.

“All the migrants were Sudanese, from a country in turmoil for years. The migrants likely attempted to reach western Libya in efforts to board trafficking boats to Europe,” the department said on its Facebook page.

In June, the Libya authorities had also discovered bodies of 20 migrants in the sprawling Kufra desert who they said died of thirst after their vehicle broke down close to the border with Chad.

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