Accusations fly as leaders arrive for Congo peace summit
Democratic Republic of Congo Laurent Kabila lashed out Friday at United Nations forces for failing to protect civilians from fighting in the country's east as world leaders gathered in Nairobi to find a resolution to the fighting, reported dpa.
The eastern part of the DR Congo is becoming increasingly destabilized as rebel forces led by rebel general Laurent Nkunda have pressed further westward, to the outskirts of Goma, the capital of the war-torn North Kivu province.
Nkunda says says he is fighting to protect Tutsis from armed Hutu groups who fled to DR Congo after the 1994 massacres in Rwanda, when 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. Kabila has accused Rwanda of providing support to Nkunda's forces.
On Friday, Kabila's administration also lashed out against UN peace forces in the country, saying they were not doing enough to protect civilians.
"People are being slaughtered and (the peacekeepers) did nothing," said a spokesman for Kabila on the sidelines of the peace conference.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon arrived in the Kenyan capital Friday to attend the peace summit. Other attendees included Kabila, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Jakaya Kikwete, president of Tanzania and current chairman of the African Union.
Nkunda was not invited to the talks.
"Inviting Nkunda would have been the wrong signal," Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula told the BBC Friday.
In other Friday news, Nkunda's forces were suspected in a massacre of dozens of young men in the eastern Congo town of Kiwanja, BBC reported Friday morning.
BBC said the United Nations was looking into reports, coming after the rebel forces recaptured the town, which pro-government Mai-Mai militias had briefly controlled.
The report cited relief organisation workers as saying that they found dozens of corpses of young men believed to have been Mai-Mai fighters, in the town.
Meanwhile, rebels released the correspondent of a German newspaper who was abducted Tuesday in the DR Congo, the German government confirmed Friday.
Thomas Scheen, 43, the Belgian-born correspondent of the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), was taken captive by Mai-Mai militias in the eastern part of Congo on Tuesday.