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Report: Most rebels not genocide killers

From CNN correspondent Catherine Bond

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- Most Hutu rebels now in the Democratic Republic of Congo were not part of the armed forces and militias that presided over the Rwandan genocide in 1994, human rights researchers said.

"They are not ex-Far or Interahamwe," said Francois Grignon of the International Crisis Group (ICG), which has issued a number of recent reports on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Rwanda.

Hundreds of thousands of Rwandan Tutsis died in the violence and Rwanda entered the war in Congo saying the Hutu rebels responsible were hiding in the country.

The ex-FAR are former soldiers who served in the Rwandan armed forces until they were ousted in mid-1994.

The Interahamwe is the generic name used for the various political party militias that carried out the genocide of about 800,000 minority Tutsi and some 30,000 politically moderate Hutus.

The ICG estimates there are about 25,000 Hutu rebels, their families and civilian refugees in Congo as a whole -- about 12,000 of them in Eastern Congo -- areas of which Rwandan government troops control.

"Eighty percent or so are post-genocide recruits," said Grignon.

Rwanda recently told diplomats and journalists that several battalions of Rwandan Hutu rebels supported by the Congolese government had joined a Congolese rebellion in the area known as the High Plateau, near Uvira in Eastern Congo.

Rwandan government troops are fighting to crush the rebellion.


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