M23 rebel fighters stand guard in Karuba, 62km west of Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

United Nations -

Rwanda and Uganda helped rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo stage a major offensive in the east of the country last month, UN experts said in a report obtained by AFP on Monday.

Rwandan troops took part in the offensive by the M23 rebels who took the key city of Goma, while Uganda provided “logistics” support, said a report by the experts sent to the UN Security Council.

The experts said their new investigation “strongly upholds” previous accusations that the neighboring countries provided major backing to the rebels who routed government forces before withdrawing from Goma at the weekend under a ceasefire accord.

Rwanda and Uganda have strongly denied involvement in the new conflict in resource-rich eastern DR Congo.

M23 launched an offensive out of its stronghold near the DR Congo border with Rwanda in early November.

At the start of the offensive, the DR Congo army killed more than 40 rebels and Rwandan Defense Force (RDF) soldiers “many of whom wore RDF uniforms and carried weapons used by the RDF,” said the report.

“When M23 progressed towards Goma on November 19, 2012, RDF units operated alongside M23 in combat at the airport and close to one of Goma's border posts into Rwanda,” the experts added, quoting former rebels and sources in Rwanda and Uganda. - Sapa-AFP