Rwandan forces area heavily deployed along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo as the fierce fighting between the two countries went through a second day.
This after DRC and Rwanda accused each other’s armies of mounting cross-border raids that led to a rare exchange of heavy artillery fire on Wednesday. Congo accused Rwanda of sparking the incident by seizing and later killing a Congolese soldier.
Rwanda said that its forces that were on patrol near the border with DRC came under fire from the Congolese government forces in Busasamana Sector, Rubavu District. As a result they killed five Congolese troops who had crossed the border and attacked Rwandan units. Rwanda further accuses the DRC of provoking the Kigali government.
The ongoing fighting has already prompted people living in the area to flee for their lives.
Rwandan Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo explains that the latest deployment is to guarantee the safety of all Nationals of Rwanda who would be affected by the fighting. He says Rwanda will ensure that it protect their citizens no matter the cost.
However, Hassan Bahame, the Rubavu town Mayor says that on Friday morning there was relative calm in the whole district of Rubavu.
Colonel Olivier Hamuli, the Congolese government army spokesperson in the North Kivu Province says that the Congolese forces have never attempted to occupy Rwandan territory. He hastens to add that forces are ready to protect their territory and will not allow any foreign forces to infiltrate them.
He also downplayed claims by Rwandan forces that five of their forces were gunned by the Rwandan Government army.
Our reporter was however unable to independently verify who attacked the other first.