Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Congolese mass graves linked to Rwandan army

Mass graves discovered by UN troops in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been linked to the Rwandan army.

The graves contain bodies thought to belong to Rwandan Hutu refugees and villagers killed by the Tutsi-led Rwandan army and the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo Zaire (AFDL), a Congolese rebel group, in 1996, reports the (UK) Independent.

Two years after toppling the genocidal regime in Kigali, Rwandan strongman Gen. Paul Kagame ordered his troops to invade its gigantic neighbor under the pretext of hunting genocide suspects who'd fled to the then-Zaire and were allegedly launching raids into Rwanda. The trouble is that the extremists were mixed in with hundreds of thousands of ordinary refugees.

While Rwanda's invasion was ostensibly to create a security buffer, Rwandan troops advanced as far as 1000 miles inside the DRC, occupying a swath of land far larger than tiny Rwanda itself. Rwanda's occupation was almost universally believed to be more about exploiting the DRC's vast mineral wealth than any security concerns.

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