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Zuma, Kabila condemn 'destabilising' forces in east DRC

  • South Africa's President Jacob Zuma as mine workers interact with him at the Lonmin mine, where 34 of their co-workers were killed by police last week, near Rustenburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

PRETORIA, South Africa: South Africa President Jacob Zuma and his Congolese counterpart Joseph Kabila on Tuesday condemned forces destabilising the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, amid accusations that Rwanda and Uganda are backing a rebellion there.

In a statement after meeting in Pretoria, "the two leaders condemned in the strongest possible terms those forces that are involved in destabilising a sovereign state and called on them to cease their activities immediately."

For months, the eastern DR Congo region of North-Kivu has been in the grip of a rebellion launched by the Congolese Revolutionary Army (ARC), formerly known as the M23.

The group, formed by army mutineers, has challenged the authority of the central government and has been accused by rights groups of raping women and girls and carrying out summary executions as it battles the regular army.

A confidential United Nations report has said Rwanda and Uganda are arming and supporting the rebels. Both deny the accusations.

The issue appears to have dominated the Zuma-Kabila meeting, resulting a commitment to existing efforts by the Southern African Development Community and others to end the crisis.

The pair "took the opportunity to reflect extensively on the ongoing security instability of the eastern part of the DRC."

"The two presidents committed their respective governments to the regional efforts that are aimed at assisting the government of the DRC to deal with this security challenge."

 
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