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Belgium ‘particularly concerned’ over DR Congo unrest

BUJUMBURA, Jul 4 – Brussels is “particularly concerned” about the latest unrest in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, one of its former colonies, the Belgian foreign minister said on Tuesday.

“We are particularly concerned about the situation in the east of DR Congo,” Didier Reynders told a press conference.

An army mutiny by former Congolese Tutsi rebels known as M23 who were integrated into the army but defected this year started more than two months ago in eastern DR Congo.

Rwanda, also a former Belgian colony, has denied accusations it has been helping the M23 mutineers.

Reynders told journalists he discussed the issue of unrest with DR Congo President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan Defence Minister James Kabarebe on the sidelines of Burundi’s 50th anniversary of independence celebrations in Bujumbura.

Kabarebe is one of several high ranking Rwandan officials accused of actively backing M23 rebels in a UN report released on June 26.

“The Rwandan authorities deny any support, any backing to the rebels in eastern DR Congo,” said Reynders.

“I take note of this and I ask simply that this debate take place with the investigators designated by the United Nations,” he said.

“In parallel to that we ask for there to be a dialogue between the two states, between Kinshasa and Kigali.

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“What I think we have managed to obtain in the past few hours, thanks to the meetings organised here, is Rwanda’s commitment to supporting a solution, therefore to not being part of the problem, but rather part of the solution.” Reynders said Kabila had “committed, very clearly” to arresting the leader of the rebels, Bosco Ntaganda, a warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes.

Last week Kabila blamed “dark national and foreign forces” for the unrest.


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