(Bloomberg) -- Rwanda and neighboring countries in Africa’s Great Lakes region are at risk of worsening violence if the different countries back rival rebel forces to destabilize each other, according to a report by the International Crisis Group.

Dozens of people have died in the past year in cross-border attacks involving the four neighbors including Burundi, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, in which the leaders have blamed each other for backing proxy rebels, the Brussels-based group said in a report released Thursday.

“There is a real risk that growing tension will fuel a wider regional security crisis,” the policy group said in the report. It called for more dialogue and diplomacy to stem the drift toward conflict.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame alleged that Uganda and Burundi are supporting rebels opposed to his government and increased military presence along his country’s borders after recent armed incursions from eastern Congo and Burundi. Rwanda is in turn accused by Burundi of backing insurgents in its territory, while Uganda beefed up military presence along its Congo border to check fighters it says are backed by Rwanda, according to the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Kavanagh in Kinshasa at mkavanagh9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net, Dulue Mbachu, Liezel Hill

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