HOME» NEWS» WORLD NEWS» AFRICA AND INDIAN OCEAN» RWANDA Rwanda achieved a long held ambition by taking a seat on the UN Security Council despite accusations that its top security officials are directing an insurgency in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda won a two year tenure on the body despite the leaking of the UN leaked report Photo: Stan Honda/AFP By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent 7:15PM BST 18 Oct 2012 The only African country running for one of five rotating seats in the 15-member council, Rwanda needed at least 129 votes from among the 193 member states of the UN General Assembly. It secured 148, winning a two year tenure on the body. The vote has been overshadowed by a leaked report from a UN council of experts that Rwanda's defence minister and army chief of staff were personally directing a campaign by M23, a guerrilla movement in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo Olivier Nduhungirehe, a member of the Rwandan delegation, said the allegations were part of a smear campaign designed to derail its UN 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," Mr Nduhungirehe said. Rwanda said it deserved its spot because it punches above its weight at the UN and deserved the recognition that a role on the leading UN institution would entail. "We are the sixth (biggest) troop-contributing country for peacekeeping, we are a leading country in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, we have a record in post-conflict reconstruction and peace building," he said. Argentina was the leading South American candidate for a seat, winning 182 votes and is expected to use the platform to promote its claims to the Falkland Islands. The last time Rwanda was on the council was in 1994-95 when a genocidal civil war resulted in the deaths of 800,000 people. Its presence on the council could make unanimity among the 15 council members on Congo's rebellion difficult. The Congolese government on Wednesday demanded targeted sanctions against Rwandan and Ugandan officials. Both countries were named in the UN experts report. Uganda and Rwanda have both dismissed the panel's findings. Gen James Kabarebe, the Rwandan defense minister was said to be the ultimate commander the rebellion and both Rwanda and Uganda were providing weapons, troops and military and political aid to the insurgency. Australia beat out Finland and Luxembourg for the first of two seats available in the "Western European and Others" group with 140 votes. Another round of voting is taking place to decide who wins the second seat. Cambodia, Bhutan and South Korea are also competing for one available Asia-Pacific seat. ***Britain under pressure to cut Rwanda and Uganda aid The government was under presssure last night to cut aid spending to Rwanda and Uganda after the Labour Party demanded an immediate rebuke for both countries implicated by a UN report in fighting in Congo. By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent 7:10PM BST 17 Oct 2012 Ivan Lewis, the shadow international development secretary, said the opposition was demanding an immediate halt to direct payments by Whitehall into the Rwandan budget after a report by UN experts said its defence minister was personally involved in giving support and direction to the M23 rebel group. The well-armed M23 group has carved out a swathe of territory around the city of Goma in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a bloody mutiny that has seen hundreds of thousands driven from their homes. Britain broke international ranks to resume direct payments to Rwanda's government last month when Andrew Mitchell, the former International Development Secretary, signed off a £16 million payment, that included £8 million direct budget support. US and EU governments have suspended payments in attempt to pressure Rwanda into withdrawing support. Mr Lewis called on Mr Mitchell's replacement, Justine Greening to block further payments - another installment is due in December - and to review similar payments to Uganda, which has been promised £22.5 million this year. "It is now essential that Justine Greening responds to these latest allegations by suspending budget support to Rwanda with immediate effect. She should also urgently consider the implications of the report's findings in relation to Uganda's interference in eastern DRC." Fighting between the government of Congo and the M23 has raged around Goma since Bosco Ntaganda, a former Congolese general wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, went on the offensive this spring. Six Indian troops from the UN monitoring force and their interpreter were wounded in an ambush yesteday, forcing the suspension of patrols. A UN report said Rwandan officials were "in effective command" of parts of the rebel offensive despite government assurances that it was not involved. A Ugandan military spokesman Felix Kulayigye dismissed the panel's findings that it was supplying the rebels as "absolute rubbish". Lambert Mende, a spokesman for the Congo government said that those named in the report as backing the rebellion should be placed under UN sanctions. "We've taken note of this report which confirms what we already know about Rwanda and contains new information about Uganda... We're in contact with our neighbours in Uganda over these very serious allegations," he said. Mr Lewis also called on Miss Greening to give a full account of Mr Mitchell's decision to reverse the payments freeze. Foreign Office officials concede that there had been no signs that Rwanda had changed its role in Congo before the decision was announced. Ernest Rwamucyo, the High Commissioner of Rwanda in London, told the Daily Telegraph that his government was not asked for any new guarantees by Whitehall before the decision was reversed. He said: "We have given a very comprehensive response to the UN allegations which was submitted in New York making very clear where the got their facts wrong. The president has spoke many times about this issue and contrinued to give those same assurances. But there was nothing new said." In a further blow to the campaign to curtail Rwanda the country is favoured to win election as one of the 10 rotating seats on the UN's Security Council when voting takes place tomorrow. There is no competition from Africa in Rwanda's path. The country was on the body when it erupted in ethnic civil war in 1994 that saw 800,000 die in a matter of weeks.