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
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
 

3 must-do trail runs

If you love trail running, you have to put these on your bucket list.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route
Watch: Insane road bike skills!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

One day only! – 40% off Appliances!

Get 40% off 100’s of appliances at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may prefer to be in charge because then you can call the shots. You are not as flexible as you like to make out to be and you...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.