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M23 rebels take position near the town of Mutaho, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, file. REUTERS/Jonny Hog

(reuters_tickers)

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Former Congolese rebels who have lived in disarmament camps in Uganda for years are not welcome and are not Uganda's problem, a state minister told Reuters on Tuesday.

    Okello Oryem, state minister for international affairs, said he didn't know and didn't care if rebels were missing from the camps following reports that some fighters may have crossed the border into neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) this weekend.

   "We never wanted them here, we never invited them here, they are not even desirable in Uganda," he said. "The responsibility for M23 lies squarely with the government of the DRC and the U.N., squarely with them, not the government of Uganda."

(reporting by Elias Biryabarema; writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Dominic Evans)

Reuters