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Security Council condemns incursions into Rwanda and DR of Congo

Security Council condemns incursions into Rwanda and DR of Congo

Calling on Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to strengthen security along their frontier, the United Nations Security Council today condemned incursions by the Rwandan army into the eastern DRC as well as rebel attacks launched from Congolese territory.

In a statement read at an open meeting by the Council President for May, Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, the 15-member body urged the Congolese and Rwandan Governments to investigate jointly, with the assistance of the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), recent reports of armed incursions across their border.

"The Security Council further calls on both Governments to establish border security mechanisms to prevent the recurrence of such incidents," the Pakistani Permanent Representative said.

The two governments should "take all necessary measures to facilitate the swift and voluntary repatriation of Rwandan combatants from the DRC," after disarming and demobilizing them, the Council said.

Clashes last month between DRC forces and a Rwandan rebel group accused of genocide and known as the Interahamwe led to the displacement of some 25,000 people in the DRC's South Kivu area, the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said last week.

The Security Council commended the DRC for arresting long-sought fugitive Yussufu Munyakazi on charges he took part in the Rwanda genocide of 1994 and transferring him to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, based in Tanzania. It encouraged the two governments to continue working towards normalizing their relations, Mr. Akram said.

Earlier this week, Foreign Ministers from Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC met for normalization talks in Washington, DC.