1. Pursuant to its oral briefing to the Sanctions Committee on 13 June 2012 and in fulfilment of its commitment to provide timely information on arms embargo and sanctions violations to the Committee, the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo submits the present addendum to its interim report (S/2012/348).
2. Since the outset of its current mandate, the Group has gathered evidence of arms embargo and sanctions regime violations committed by the Rwandan Government. These violations consist of the provision of material and financial support to armed groups operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the recently established M23, in contravention of paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 1807 (2008).
The arms embargo and sanctions regimes violations include the following:
• Direct assistance in the creation of M23 through the transport of weapons and soldiers through Rwandan territory
• Recruitment of Rwandan youth and demobilized ex-combatants as well as Congolese refugees for M23
• Provision of weapons and ammunition to M23
• Mobilization and lobbying of Congolese political and financial leaders for the benefit of M23
• Direct Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF) interventions into Congolese territory to reinforce M23
• Support to several other armed groups as well as Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) mutinies in the eastern Congo
• Violation of the assets freeze and travel ban through supporting sanctioned individuals.
3. Over the course of its investigation since late 2011, the Group has found substantial evidence attesting to support from Rwandan officials to armed groups operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Initially the RDF appeared to establish these alliances to facilitate a wave of targeted assassinations against key officers of the Forces démocratique pour la libération du Rwanda (FDLR) thus significantly weakening the rebel movement (see S/2012/348, paras. 37 and 38). However, these activities quickly extended to support for a series of post-electoral mutinies within the FARDC and eventually included the direct facilitation, through the use of Rwandan territory, of the creation of the M23 rebellion. The latter is comprised of ex-CNDP officers integrated into the Congolese army (FARDC) in January 2009. Since M23 established itself in strategic positions along the Rwandan border in May 2012, the Group has gathered overwhelming evidence demonstrating that senior RDF officers, in their official capacities, have been backstopping the rebels through providing weapons, military supplies, and new recruits.
4. In turn, M23 continues to solidify alliances with many other armed groups and mutineer movements, including those previously benefiting from RDF support. This has created enormous security challenges, extending from Ituri district in the north to Fizi territory in the south, for the already overstretched Congolese army (FARDC). Through such arms embargo violations, Rwandan officials have also been in contravention of the sanctions regime’s travel ban and assets freeze measures, by including three designated individuals among their direct allies.
5. In an attempt to solve the crisis which this Rwandan support to armed groups had exacerbated, the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda have held a series of high-level bilateral meetings since early in April 2012. During these discussions, Rwandan officials have insisted on impunity for their armed group and mutineer allies, including ex-CNDP General Bosco Ntaganda, and the deployment of additional RDF units to the Kivus to conduct large-scale joint operations against the FDLR. The latter request has been repeatedly made despite the fact that:
(a) the RDF halted its unilateral initiatives to weaken the FDLR in lateFebruary;
(b) RDF Special Forces have already been deployed officially in Rutshuru territory for over a year; (c) RDF operational units are periodically reinforcing the M23 on the battlefield against the Congolese army; (d) M23 is directly and indirectly allied with several FDLR splinter groups; and (e) the RDF is remobilizing previously repatriated FDLR to boost the ranks of M23.
Elevated standards of evidence
6. In the light of the serious nature of these findings, the Group has adopted elevated methodological standards. Since early in April 2012, the Group has interviewed over 80 deserters of FARDC mutinies and Congolese armed groups, including from M23. Among the latter, the Group has interviewed 31 Rwandan nationals. Furthermore, the Group has also photographed weapons and military equipment found in arms caches and on the battlefield, and has obtained official documents and intercepts of radio communications. The Group has also consulted dozens of senior Congolese military commanders and intelligence officials as well as political and community leaders with intricate knowledge of developments between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Moreover, the Group has communicated regularly with several active participants of the ex-CNDP mutiny, the M23 rebellion, and other armed groups. Finally, while the Group’s standard methodology requires a minimum of three sources, assessed to be credible and independent of one another, it has raised this to five sources when naming specific individuals involved in these cases of arms embargo and sanctions regime violations.
II. Rwandan support to M23
7. Since the earliest stages of its inception, the Group documented a systematic pattern of military and political support provided to the M23 rebellion by Rwandan authorities. Upon taking control over the strategic position of Runyoni, along the Rwandan border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, M23 officers opened two supply routes going from Runyoni to Kinigi or Njerima in Rwanda, which RDF officers used to deliver such support as troops, recruits and weapons. The Group also found evidence that Rwandan officials mobilized ex-CNDP cadres and officers, North Kivu politicians, business leaders and youth in support of M23.
A. Direct assistance in the creation of M23 through Rwandan territory
8. Colonel Sultani Makenga deserted the FARDC in order to create the M23 rebellion using Rwandan territory and benefiting directly from RDF facilitation (see S/2012/348, para. 104). On 4 May, Makenga crossed the border from Goma into Gisenyi, Rwanda, and waited for his soldiers to join him from Goma and Bukavu. Intelligence sources, M23 collaborators and local politicians confirmed for the Group that RDF Western Division commander, General Emmanuel Ruvusha, welcomed Makenga upon his arrival to Gisenyi. The same sources indicated that Ruvusha subsequently held a series of coordination meetings with other RDF officers in Gisenyi and Ruhengeri over the following days with Makenga.
9. According to ex-CNDP and FARDC officers, also on 4 May, Col. Kazarama, Col. Munyakazi and Col. Masozera, and an estimated 30 of Makenga’s loyal troops departed from Goma crossing into Rwanda through fields close to the
Kabuhanga border. Several FARDC officers, civilian border officials, and intelligence officers stationed at Kanyamuyagha confirmed that they saw clear boot tracks of Makenga’s troops crossing the border into Rwanda only a few metres away from an RDF position on the Rwandan side. These same sources also recovered several FARDC uniforms discarded by the deserters at that location the same night.
10. A second group of Makenga’s loyal troops deserted the FARDC ranks in Bukavu, also via Rwanda. Three former M23 combatants who took part in the operation told the Group that ahead of his desertion, Makenga had gathered about 60 troops under the command of Maj. Imani Nzenze, his secretary, as well as Col. Seraphin Mirindi and Col. Jimmy Nzamuyein at his residence by Lake Kivu in the Nguba neighbourhood of Bukavu (see image 1). At 2030 hours on 4 May, the two large motorized boats transported the 60 troops and several tons of ammunitions and weapons 200 metres across the lake to the Rwandan town of Cyangugu (see S/2012/348, para. 118). The same sources indicated that upon arrival to Rwanda, the boats were sent back once again to Makenga’s residence to recover the remainder of the weapons and ammunition (see image 2). According to one of the M23 combatants who later deserted the movement, and Congolese intelligence services, the evacuated weapons included such heavy weapons as Katyusha rocket launchers, RPG 7, and 14.5 mm machine guns, some of which were brought from Makenga’s weapons caches at Nyamunyoni (see S/2012/348, para. 118). Read more