Rwanda gets UN Security Council seat

Rwanda gets UN Security Council seat

UNITED NATIONS - The Associated Press
Rwanda gets UN Security Council seat

A UN report accuses Rwanda of actively supporting the rebels in Congo. AFP photo

Rwanda was among five nations elected to the U.N. Security Council on Oct. 18, amid an ongoing investigation by a U.N. panel of its role in neighboring Congo’s rebellion.

The election of Rwanda was likely to renew questions about the image of the council, as it tries to overcome division and find a way to end the war in Syria.

Rwanda won a two-year non-permanent seat on the council, starting in 2013. It prevailed despite a July report by the U.N. experts panel that accused senior Rwandan security officials of supporting the rebellion and sending arms into Congo.

Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo rejected the claims in the latest U.N. report and thanked the assembly for voting it onto the council for the first time since its genocide.

“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.

An unpublished U.N. experts’ report, leaked to the media this week, accuses Rwanda and Uganda of actively supporting the M23 rebels in eastern Congo. Rwanda and Uganda deny the charges.

Rwanda was welcomed to the council by Britain’s deputy U.N. representative, Philip Parham, who said it will “bring to the Council the particular perspective of a country that has overcome serious conflict and has done so more successfully than many,” he said.