World Bulletin / News Desk
North Korea has supplied pistols to the Democratic Republic of Congo that ended up in the hands of Congolese peacekeepers serving in the UN mission in the Central African Republic, according to a UN report.
A panel of experts "found that pistols with characteristics similar to those produced in DPRK were issued to certain members of the FARDC (armed forces), as well as to Congolese national police that were deployed to MINUSCA," the UN mission in the Central African Republic, said the report seen by AFP Friday.
Congolese soldiers and police said the arms were delivered in 2014 as part of a training program of the presidential guard and special police units carried out by some 30 North Korean instructors.
The same type of pistol is sold on the black market in Kinshasa, said the report.
North Korea is banned from selling weapons under UN sanctions.
The report also said Rwanda continues to train Burundian refugees with the goal of overthrowing President Pierre Nkurunziza.
Despite denials from Kigali, the support to Burundian insurgents continued in 2016, it said.
The experts confirmed allegations of involvement by Rwanda that were outlined in a previous report in February.
"Similar outside support continued through 2016," said the report. "This took the form of training, financing, and logistical support for Burundian combatants crossing from Rwanda to DRC."
The experts met Rwandan nationals who said they had been involved in the training of Burundian combatants or had been sent to the DR Congo to help support the armed Burundian opposition.
Contacted by the panel, the Rwandan government denied the allegations of involvement and said it was not aware of the recruitment of Burundian refugees in a Rwandan camp.
Burundi has been in turmoil since Nkurunziza announced plans in April 2015 to run for a third term, which he went on to win.
More than 400 people have been killed and 240,000 have fled the country in a conflict that the United Nations fears could slide into ethnic warfare, similar to the conflict that led to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.