Uganda blames UN report for Congo conflict

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iol pic afr Congo Fighting M23 Rebels AP In this file photo taken on October 23, 2012, M23 rebels conduct training exercises in Rumangabo, eastern Congo.

Kampala - Uganda on Tuesday blamed the escalation of fighting in eastern Congo on a leaked UN report that accused it and Rwanda of supporting Congolese rebels, a document Kampala said damaged its mediation efforts.

Uganda has vigorously denied the UN charges, which emerged in October, and Junior Foreign Affairs Minister Asuman Kiyingi said Kampala had been forced to retreat from its mediating role.

The so-called M23 rebels entered parts of the eastern Congolese city of Goma on Tuesday. On Monday, Rwanda, which also denies the UN accusations, accused the government in Kinshasa of shelling its territory, ratcheting up tensions in the Great Lakes region.

“Uganda was mediating in this conflict ... and we had managed to restrain M23,” Kiyingi told Reuters.

“Then the UN comes up with these wild and baseless allegations against us and we decided to step aside and leave the situation to them and now you see the results,” he said.

Kinshasa says the insurgency in Congo's eastern hills has been orchestrated by Rwanda with the goal of grabbing the region's mineral wealth.

Uganda has threatened to pull its troops out of peacekeeping operations in Somalia unless the UN allegations are withdrawn. - Reuters

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