June 12, 2014

DRC, Rwanda Trade Blame Over Deadly Border Clash

 

Soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rest near the town of Kibumba at its border with Rwanda after fighting broke out in the Eastern Congo town, June 11, 2014.
Soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rest near the town of Kibumba at its border with Rwanda after fighting broke out in the Eastern Congo town, June 11, 2014.

The United Nations mission in Congo (MONUSCO) is investigating a cross-border clash between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo that left five Congolese soldiers dead.
 
Officials from both countries traded blame over the incident, which took place Wednesday.
 
The DRC says Rwandan forces crossed into North Kivu province and kidnapped and killed a Congolese soldier.
 
DRC information minister Lambert Mende told VOA that Rwandan forces have been deliberately trying to undermine the DRC’s efforts to improve security and stabilize the country.
 
“We are used to these games from our neighbors, whenever we are trying to solve this [security] problem. Now, we are trying to disarm this FDLR [the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda], you must see such games played from the other side of the border, just to jeopardize and stop the exercise and stop the exercise,” said Mende.
 
Rwanda says it was the Congolese troops who crossed into its territory and opened fire on its forces. The Rwandans claim they then fired back, killing four more Congolese soldiers.
 
On Twitter, Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said that her country had put up with “behavior from DRC unbecoming of leadership” for several months.
 
The fighting lasted about four hours.
 
Last year, U.N.-backed Congolese forces defeated the rebel group M23 in strife-torn North Kivu. 
 
Rwanda has denied U.N. allegations that it supported the rebels.

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