Rwanda Slams Leaked United Nations Report on Congo Genocide as ‘Malicious’
By Paul Richardson
Rwanda’s government said a leaked draft United Nations report accusing the country’s army of atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo was “malicious, offensive and ridiculous.”
The Paris-based newspaper Le Monde reported yesterday that investigators from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees uncovered mass human-rights abuses in Congo in the 1990s, including the possible genocide of ethnic Hutus by Rwandan forces. Rwanda’s government said in a statement today that the UN report was “immoral and unacceptable.”
“The report is a dangerous and irresponsible document that under the guise of human rights can only achieve instability in the Great Lakes region and undermine ongoing efforts to stabilize the region,” the government said. The Great Lakes nations include Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Uganda and Tanzania.
More than 1 million ethnic Hutus fled Rwanda in 1994, mostly to Congo, following a genocide in Rwanda in which 800,000 people died. Rwandan government forces raided refugee camps in the neighboring country, then known as Zaire, in their search for Hutu leaders who were believed to have carried out the genocide.
The UN report detailed massacres, rapes and looting by forces from various countries involved in two wars in Congo from 1993 to 2003, Le Monde said.
Rwanda’s government said it hadn’t been consulted by UN investigators and questioned whether the comments of non- governmental organization representatives who had been interviewed should form the basis for war crimes or genocide allegations.
The draft report’s allegations were also based on “questionable methodology, sourcing and shockingly low standard of proof,” the government said.
Eastern Congo has been mired in conflict since the mid- 1990s, when the aftermath of the genocide spilled over into the Central African country. More than 5 million people have died in conflicts in Congo since the late 1990s, according to estimates by the New York-based International Rescue Committee, which goes into conflict areas to rescue refugees.
To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Richardson in Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.org.