UN Security Council puts sanctions on Congo rebels
New York: The UN Security Council voted unanimously to sanction the leaders of Congo`s M23 rebel force, which hours earlier occupied the eastern Congolese city of Goma as UN peacekeepers stood by without resisting.
But it did not name two countries accused by Congo of supporting the rebels: Rwanda and Uganda.
In the voting held yesterday, the council demanded that the M23 rebels withdraw from Goma, disarm and disband, and insisted on the restoration of the crumbing Congolese government authority in the country`s turbulent East.
The resolution adopted imposes targeted sanctions, including a travel ban and assets freeze, on the M23 rebel group leadership. Individual nations are supposed to enforce the sanctions and report to the council.
The resolution also calls for an immediate end to external support to the rebels and asks the UN Secretary General to report on the allegations of foreign support while expressing its readiness to take appropriate measures.
It took the rare step in a resolution of singling out two M23 commanders by name: Innocent Kaina and Baudouin Ngaryu, and called for the council`s sanctions committee to review their activity and unnamed other individuals.
Unnamed in the resolution were Rwanda and Uganda, which have been identified as supporters of the M23 rebellion by a UN panel of experts` report due out Friday that has been leaked to some media.
Human Rights Watch said yesterday that an advance copy of the report that it has reviewed names Rwanda and Uganda as supporting M23.
"Sadly, this resolution fails to name Rwandan officials known by the UN to have supported M23`s atrocities from day one," said the UN director for Human Rights Watch, Philippe Bolopion. "Despite its influence on Rwanda, in public the US government has been inexplicably silent," he added.
Congolese special envoy Serahin Ngwei accused Rwanda of arming the M23 and providing troops to back them in his speech to the council.
Rwanda`s representative spoke to the council after the vote to deny that his country is involved in the Congolese rebellion. Uganda has previously denied involvement.
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