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UN renews sanctions against DRC’s armed groups

The UN Security Council has unanimously renewed a long-standing arms embargo against armed groups operating inside the DRC and again specifically condemned the actions of the rebel M23.

Report by SABC.co,za

The sanctions regime, established almost a decade ago, was extended until February 2014 but specifically condemned the actions of the M23 in the east of the country and groups supporting them.

The UN experts report claims M23 is led by Bosco Ntaganda , a Congolese army general wanted by the ICC.

The DRC has consistently accused Rwanda of supporting the rebel insurgency, a matter that again played itself out in Council after yesterday’s vote.

DRC Ambassador Ileka Atoki says: “The experts report clearly and unambiguously establishes the fact that the Rwandan government is continuing to violate the arms embargo.

It is directly providing military aid to the so called M23 rebels facilitating the recruitment of combatants for that movement, inciting and facilitating desertion of soldiers from the Congolese armed forces, is providing arms, munitions and information to the M23 as well as political advice.”

This is a claim the Rwandan government dismisses, rather blaming the instability in the DRC on long-standing issues.

The Security Council resolution also expresses its intention to consider additional targeted sanctions against those supporting the M23 rebels who have reportedly begun withdrawing from towns captured in the east after a deal brokered in Kampala, Uganda at the weekend.

Rebels seized Goma, the capital of North Kivu on November 20 and have already missed a Monday deadline to withdraw.

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