Rwanda accuses DR Congo soldiers of attack on army border post
Rwanda’s army has said its troops briefly exchanged fire with soldiers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo at a border post as tension continues to spike between the neighbours.
In a statement on Wednesday, Kigali said that 12 to 14 Congolese soldiers entered the neutral zone near the western district of Rusizi and opened fire at a Rwandan border post in “an act of provocation”.
“Our security forces responded and (the Congolese) soldiers withdrew,” the statement said. “There were no casualties on the Rwanda side and the situation is calm.”
Meanwhile, Kinshasa has denied entering the neutral zone and said there were clashes between its military and a group of “bandits” near the border in Bukavu.
“In no case did the (army) cross the neutral zone, let alone open fire in the direction of Rwanda,” Theo Ngwabidje Kasi, governor of South Kivu province, said in a statement.
He said the accusations were “a lie” and described the incident as an “altercation” involving an exchange of fire between the Congolese security forces and “bandits,” who sustained one dead and one wounded.
“Rwanda’s tendency to want to portray itself as a victim and stoke tensions by making false accusations reveals without any doubt its intention to attack South Kivu province, as is currently the case in the war of aggression that it is carrying out in North Kivu,” he added.
The incident occurs against a backdrop of existing tensions between the DRC and its smaller neighbour over an offensive in the eastern Congolese province of North Kivu.