UN report on DR Congo an `insult to history`: Rwanda

Last Updated: Friday, October 1, 2010 - 14:29

Kigali: A draft United Nations report accusing Rwandan troops of having killed and raped Hutu refugees in the DR Congo, is "flawed and dangerous" and an "insult to history", the Kigali government said.

The UN will officially publish later Friday the controversial report, which details a litany of crimes by armed forces against civilians over the period 1993 to 2003 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The draft version of the report said that some of the crimes perpetrated by Rwandan soldiers could count as possible acts of genocide.

"Rwanda categorically states that the document is flawed and dangerous from start to finish," Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said in a statement released overnight.

"Our comments to the UN ... centre around seven specific areas of objection that clearly demonstrate how the Mapping Exercise has been a moral and intellectual failure as well as an insult to history," Mushikiwabo said.

Other countries in the region are also accused in the draft report, but the most serious accusations focus on Rwanda.

Mushikiwabo accused the UN of "rewriting history" and "improperly apportioning blame for the genocide that occurred in Rwanda".

The accusation of possible acts of genocide hits Kigali particularly hard as its government has drawn much of its legitimacy from being the force that ended the genocide in Rwanda.

The Rwandan government statement also renewed its accusations that the UN had done little or nothing to move "armed and ideologically charged refugees" away from the Rwandan border.

It said the draft report failed to make clear that "genocidal forces, often posing as civilian refugees, were operating under the cover of UN refugee camps".

Kigali said the UN draft report applied "the lowest imaginable evidentiary standard" and accused it of over-reliance on the use of anonymous sources, hearsay assertions and "unnamed, un-vetted and unidentified investigators and witnesses".

The statement said "claims of genocide are directly contradicted by Rwanda`s extensive and coordinated efforts to repatriate, resettle and reintegrate 3.2 million Hutu refugees".

"Given these objections, it seems clear that no amount of tinkering can resuscitate the credibility of this fundamentally misguided process," Mushikiwabo said.

Bureau Report



First Published: Friday, October 1, 2010 - 14:29

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