October 18, 2012 - 09:53 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Rwanda appears likely to win one of five UN Security Council seats up for election on Thursday, Oct 18, despite accusations by a UN expert panel that the country's defense minister is commanding a rebellion in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, Reuters reported.
Rwanda is unopposed in its bid for the African seat on the Security Council, which is currently held by South Africa, but it still needs to be approved by two-thirds of the UN General Assembly members present to secure a two-year term.
UN diplomats said it was theoretically possible that Rwanda would fail to secure the necessary votes for election, although they said that was highly unlikely.
The confidential UN report, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, has cast a shadow over the East African country's plan to join the 15-member UN powerhouse - which has the ability to impose sanctions and authorize military interventions.
There are five veto-holding permanent members of the council - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - and 10 temporary members without vetoes. Thursday's election is for the term from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2014.
The Security Council's "Group of Experts" said that Rwanda and Uganda - despite their strong denials - continued to support M23 rebels in their six-month fight against Congolese government troops in the east of the country.
Rwandan UN diplomat Olivier Nduhungirehe said his country was not worried about the report harming its Security Council bid.
"The members of the General Assembly know exactly what our record is and they cannot be deterred or swayed by a baseless report, which has no credibility," said Nduhungirehe.