The Congolese Government yesterday accused M23 rebels of committing human rights violations that include rape and torture among others in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The government is currently holding week long talks with the rebels aimed at finding a lasting solution to the crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Raymond Tshibanda said the rebels were guilty of crimes like murder, rape, torture and looting. The rebel delegation, which shunned an earlier session on Monday for the government response, on this occasion, listened as Mr Raymond Tshibanda read out a list of human rights violations committed by the rebels.
“M23 is an armed group which participated in a mutiny,” Mr Tshibanda said, “majority of their leaders are young people who have already committed heinous crimes, majority are former leaders of the NCDP,” he added.
He also added that his government had evidence to pin the M23 on murder, looting, recruitment of child soldiers among other charges. On the opening day of the talks, the leader of the M23 delegation, in a statement had accused Kinshasa of among others discriminating against Kinyarwanda speaking Congolese nationals in the east of the country and denying the region services.
Although the M23 did not reply to the statement, Mr Ruchogoza dismissed the accusations in comments to the media after the talks closed. He said both the leaders of M23 for both the political and military wing leaders of M23 were well known. Bishop Jean Marrie-Runiga heads the political wing, he said.
Uganda’s Defence Minister, Dr Crispus Kiyonga, who is mediating the talks, said he was keen to see the negotiations progress to agenda.