Rwanda says ‘regrets’ DR Congo decision to expel envoy

Rwanda says it regrets the Democratic Republic of Congo’s decision to expel its envoy from Kinshasa.

The DR Congo Saturday had issued a 48-hour notice to Vincent Karega after accusing Kigali of supporting M23 rebels, who have seized two towns in the country’s east.

The development further heightened tension between the two East African neighbors who have have cold relations for months.

“Rwanda notes with regret the decision by the Government of the DRC to expel Rwandan Ambassador Vincent Karega. Rwandan security forces at our border with the DRC remain on alert, as we continue to monitor the Congolese escalation,” the statement by Rwanda read in part.

“Of particular concern is the continued collusion between the Congolese armed forces with the FDLR, and their attempts to target the border area with heavy weaponry, as well as the bellicose anti-Rwanda rhetoric being broadcast by DRC officials,” it added.

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DR Congo, MONUSCO, recently increased its “troop alert level” as conflict spiked in the country.

M23, which has been in existence since 2012, has heightened its offensive in May this year, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.

According to a report by Al Jazeera, nearly 200,000 people had already been displaced over the past year even before the latest surge in violence.