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UN Sanctions DR Congo M23 Rebels

01 Jan 2013

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M23 rebel soldiers patrol near Rutshuru


BBC

The UN Security Council has imposed sanctions against leaders of the M23 rebel movement in DR Congo.

The sanctions freezes assets of those linked to the group, and its alleged allies in Rwanda, the FDLR, and bars them from travel, diplomats told AFP.

Made up of deserters from the army, the M23 captured Goma - on DRC's eastern border with Rwanda - from government and UN troops last month, reports the BBC.

It later withdrew from the city, following international condemnation.

The New Year's Eve sanctions come the day before Rwanda joins the Security Council for a two-year term.

The UN and DR Congo government accuse Rwanda and Uganda of backing the rebels, an allegation they strongly deny.

Rwanda is widely seen as having backed armed groups in the east of DR Congo as a way to fight Hutu rebels who fled there after the genocide of the 1990s.

It has been accused of using militias as proxies in an on-going battle for the region, which is rich in minerals. The Rwandan government strenuously denies the accusations.

The M23 rebellion started when a militia that had been absorbed into the Congolese army mutinied and went on the rampage in the eastern part of the country.

Since then nearly half a million people have been displaced by fighting between the M23 and the army.

Tags: News, Africa, UN Sanctions, DR Congo

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