ABIDJAN - The US government said Saturday it will cut military aid to Rwanda for this year, citing evidence Kigali is supporting rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in a significant step by one of Rwanda's staunchest allies.

Rwanda has denied reports by United Nations experts and rights groups that it is backing eastern Congolese rebels, including the M23 group, which has seized parts of North Kivu province in fighting that has displaced over 260,000 people since April.

The US State Department cited evidence of Rwandan support for the rebels in announcing the military aid suspension.

"The United States government is deeply concerned about the evidence that Rwanda is implicated in the provision of support to Congolese rebel groups, including M23," said Hilary Fuller Renner, a State Department spokeswoman, in an emailed statement.

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