Rwanda: Unidentified Soldier Shot Dead After Crossing DR Congo-Rwanda Border

An unidentified soldier crossed into Rwanda from DR Congo in the wee hours of Saturday, shooting at the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) guard towers in Rubavu District.

The soldier, believed to be from the Congolese armed forces FARDC, crossed the Petite Barriere border post at 1.a.m, the RDF said in a statement.

“He was shot dead by RDF patrol before causing any casualties,” the statement read.

“The regional Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism has been informed of the incident and is expected to investigate the border violation.”

The RDF added that it reassures the public and confirms that the situation at the border remains calm.

In June, another Congolese soldier armed with an AK-47 rifle crossed the Petite Barriere border, shooting at border patrol policemen and injuring two. He was neutralised by the police.

DR Congo has frequently conducted different acts of aggression including three rocket shelling incidents in Northern Province, which injured civilians and damaged property.

Early this month, a Congolese warplane violated Rwandan airspace after briefly touching down at Rubavu Airport in the Western Province, prompting Kigali to write a note verbale to Kinshasa in protest of the provocations.

Relations between Rwanda and DR Congo have soured since October when Kinshasa expelled the Rwandan ambassador, claiming Kigali supports the M23 rebels fighting FARDC in the country’s eastern region.

Rwanda has dismissed the allegations, calling the conflict an intra-Congolese issue and instead denounces the collaboration between the FARDC and FDLR, a Congo-based militia whose members are accused of genocide crimes.

The Rwandan government has urged their Kinshasa counterparts to respect the Angola-mediated diplomatic mechanism to end the tensions.

Fighting between the Congolese forces and M23 has intensified, with the rebels advancing and claiming key positions near Goma, the capital of North Kivu.

The East African Community has deployed a joint force to pacify the east of DR Congo, where over 120 armed groups operate.

The armed groups have been asked to disarm and join peace talks due in Nairobi next week with the Congolese government.

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