DR Congo says Rwanda soldiers killed its troops in border skirmish


The Democratic Republic of Congo’s military on Thursday said some of its soldiers were killed and others wounded in a cross-border skirmish with Rwandan troops this week.

Easc side accused the other of violating the poorly demarcated border, a scene of periodic clashes in recent years.

Millions of people were killed in wars in the region around the turn of the century.

Spokesman for Congo’s army in North Kivu province, Guillaume Ndjike, said he did not yet have exact figures, but that Tuesday’s fighting broke out when an army patrol came under fire from Rwandan troops 200 metres (yards) into Congolese territory.

“According to our information, there were deaths and injuries during the exchange of fire, which took place several hours before the two countries declared a ceasefire,” Ndjike said.

Rwanda’s army denied it had crossed the border, writing to the ICGLR, a regional body, on Wednesday that Congolese troops “violated our territorial border and subsequently attacked our defensive position”.

Both sides asked the ICGLR to dispatch a team to investigate the incident.

Since the end of two major wars in eastern Congo between 1996 and 2003, Rwanda has backed a series of insurrections in the region. It said its actions were meant to neutralise perpetrators of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide who fled to eastern Congo.

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