Kigali - Rebels of the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), called on Sunday for an international investigation into crimes reportedly committed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo's President Laurent Kabila.

"An international probe should be conducted into Kabila's crimes," officials of the RCD, which is backed by Rwanda, said.

The call follows the alleged summary execution of Commander Masasu and 34 of his colleagues last November and the continued persecution of members of ethnic groups from eastern Congo in Kinshasa.

The RCD rebels have urged the world community to isssue an international arrest warrant for the Congolese leader for the massacres of ethnic Tutsis at the beginning of the rebellion in August 1998, and during his later years in power.

"Kabila has blood on his hands," charged Moise Nyarugabo, the head of RCD's legal department, listing a number of killings he said were perpetrated by Kabila and his associates.

He recalled the massacres of ethnic Tutsis at Vyura, Kalemie, Lubumbashi, in southeastern Katanga, Bunia in northeastern Congo, and Kinshasa at the beginning of the war.

"The current persecution of Congolese from eastern Kivu is intolerable, totally inexplicable," he said.

Apart from the execution of Masasu and more than 30 other soldiers from Kivu, the RCD officials allege that 17 other people were arrested in Kinshasa on Friday.

Other sources in Kinshasa reported that more than 100 other people in the Kivu region were currently in detention in different prisons of Kinshasa, the rebels said. - Sapa-DPA