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Denying a report by a New York-based human rights group, Rwanda said Friday that its soldiers did not take part in the massacres of Hutu refugees in eastern Congo.

In a report issued Wednesday, Human Rights Watch/Africa said Rwandan troops had joined Congolese rebels commanded by Laurent Kabila in massacring Rwandan Hutu refugees in what was then Zaire.

Kabila is now president of the country he renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Last week, after differences with the government, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan recalled a U.N. human rights team sent to the Congo to investigate allegations of massacres.

Rwanda's Defense Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Gasana dismissed the Human Rights Watch findings.

"It is a report we wish to publicly declare serves no serious purpose, and we can all hope that proper investigation can be done by a more respectable body so that the truth of what happened in that part of Congo can finally come out," he said.

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