President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has come under unprecedented criticism from the United States government. Kagame has been accused of supporting M23 rebels in the eastern DRC., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Rwanda wins UN Security Council seat
Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:55AM GMT
Rwanda has won a seat at the United Nations Security Council despite a leaked UN report accusing the country of fueling a rebellion in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
On Thursday, the UN General Assembly elected Rwanda to a two-year non-permanent membership at the Council, starting in 2013.
The UN Security Council’s Group of Experts said in a confidential report on October 17 that Rwandan officials “coordinated the creation of the rebel movement [in Congo] as well as its major military operations.”
However, Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo denied the accusations in the UN report and thanked the Assembly for voting it onto the Council for the first time since the genocide in the country.
“The contrast could not be sharper between that previous tenure -- when a genocidal government occupied a prized Security Council seat as its agents waged genocide back home -- and the Rwanda of today: a nation of peace, unity, progress and optimism,” Mushikiwabo said.
The Rwandan genocide began after the plane of the country’s Hutu president, Juvenal Habyarimana, was shot down in 1994 and Hutus were incited to commit acts of ethnic violence against Tutsis. Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira was also killed in the plane crash.
About 800,000 to one million people, mainly Tutsis, were killed in the 1994 genocide.
Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg and South Korea also gained the required two-thirds majority in the General Assembly and joined the UN Security Council for 2013.