Rwanda, DRC soldiers exchange fire

2014-06-11 20:12
Congolese army soldiers take cover during an assault on rebel-held Jomba, as they advance toward Bunagana, eastern Congo.( Joseph Kay, AP)

Congolese army soldiers take cover during an assault on rebel-held Jomba, as they advance toward Bunagana, eastern Congo.( Joseph Kay, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kinshasa - Fighting involving heavy weapons flared again between Congolese soldiers and Rwandan troops on their volatile border on Wednesday, Congolese military and officials said, further straining relations between the rival neighbours.

Congolese regional commander Colonel Ephrem Ramazani said there had been "heavy weapon fire from both sides" as clashes erupted after several hours of calm.

Gunfire broke out on Wednesday after Rwandan troops crossed the border into the restive province of North Kivu and abducted a Congolese soldier, according to a local army spokesperson who gave no details on casualties or the fate of the soldier.

A local from a village near the fighting said the troops had used "mortars and even rockets" in the fighting, which re-started around 14:00 (12:00 GMT) and continued into the afternoon.

Kigali and Kinshasa have long been at odds, with Rwanda repeatedly accused by the United Nations and its neighbour of backing the M23 rebels in the strife-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda last year accused the Congolese army of firing rockets and mortar shells on its territory and massed troops along its border in response, sparking fears the decades-long conflict between the two nations could reignite.

Rwanda fought against the central government in Kinshasa in Congo's two wars in 1996-97 and 1998-2003 and has been involved in several attempts to destabilise the country, backing uprisings by Tutsi-dominated militias.

But since the defeat in November of a Kigali-backed rebellion led by the M23 group, the border has remained relatively calm.

JVM too scared

Governor of Congo's eastern province Julien Paluk said fighting erupted before dawn on Wednesday in Kanyesheza, about 20km northeast of the provincial capital Goma and lasted over four hours.

"There was shooting between elements from the Rwandan army and the FARDC [the Congolese army] in Kanyesheza," he told AFP.

The fresh violence could undermine international efforts to bring stability to Congo's mineral-rich but lawless east after years of bloody conflict.

Last year the Great Lakes regional body set up the Joint Verification Mechanism (JVM) - a multinational team of military officers - to defuse the M23 crisis.

A source at the JVM said a monitoring mission sent to assess the fighting at Rwanda's request was forced to turn back to Goma "due to tension in the area" and would remain there until the situation had calmed down.

Kigali made no immediate comment on the clashes.

Read more on:    drc  |  rwanda  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at kalahari.com. while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a reactive and wilful undercurrent that flavours things today. There is a tendency to take things too personally and then...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.