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Friday, 17 May, 2002, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Rwanda denies DR Congo executions
DR Congo combatants
DR Congo is controlled by different military forces
Rwanda has denied accusations that its soldiers executed 20 dissident members of a Kigali-backed rebel group in the city of Kisangani in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"The Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) has neither killed nor arrested anyone for the good reason that it is not in Kisangani," RPA spokesman Jean-Bosco Kazura told the French news agency AFP.

Congolese Foreign Minister Leonard She Okitundu on Thursday accused the RPA of having arrested and executed a dozen members of the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), as well as police officers, during reprisals launched after mutineers tried to capture the city earlier this week.

Local sources said about 100 insurgents briefly occupied Kisangani radio station before being repelled by RCD forces.

The RCD has not signed up for a power-sharing agreement reached last month.

Under the new deal, President Joseph Kabila has allied his administration with the Ugandan-backed Congolese Liberation Movement.

Jean Fidel, a journalist for a private Kisangani radio station, Amani, told the Associated Press that about 20 local residents had been "executed" during searches by rebels since the uprising.

He said the dead included one woman and her child.

A UN spokesman in the capital Kinshasa, Hamadoun Toure, said an uprising against rebels controlling Kisangani had claimed more than 20 lives there.

City still tense

He described the situation in the country's third-largest city as still "tense".

He said UN workers in Kisangani had resumed normal work, which was suspended immediately after the uprising.

Contacted in Kisangani, the Reverend Celestin Bwanga said 1,000 residents had turned out in response to the call by the mutineers.

Reverend Bwanga said a mob killed two people before the Rwandan-backed rebels opened fire, killing four local residents.

The UN Security Council has called for the demilitarisation of Kisangani as part of the Congolese peace process.

See also:

15 May 02 | Africa
DR Congo rebel mutiny over
15 May 02 | Africa
Fighting breaks out in DR Congo
30 Apr 02 | Africa
UN envoys meet DR Congo leader
29 Apr 02 | Africa
Great Lakes peace mission starts
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