DR Congo soldier killed in border clash with Rwandan army

Mon Nov 5, 2012 5:14am GMT
 

BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - A soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been killed in a border skirmish with Rwandan troops, military officials from both countries said on Sunday.

Tension has risen between Rwanda and the DRC this year over allegations by Kinshasa, denied by Kigali, that Rwanda is backing a rebellion in its vast and unstable neighbour.

"There was an incident on Saturday afternoon between a Congolese soldier and a Rwandan soldier," Colonel Olivier Hamuli, a Congolese army spokesman said.

"The Congolese soldier was killed ... It happened right along the border," he said of the incident near Kibumba, 13 km (8 miles) north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

Rwandan military spokesman Brigadier General Joseph Nzabamwita said soldiers from Congo's armed forces (FADRC) had crossed the border on a reconnaissance mission. One was killed in a clash with Rwandan troops and one escaped, he said.

"This is a provocative act of the FARDC. They want to draw Rwanda into their internal problems but Rwanda has always said we will not escalate the problem," Nzabamwita said.

"There will be no action from Rwanda. The action we are taking is diplomatic. We are trying to show the diplomatic community these are provocative actions and we are being drawn into the problem," he said in a statement.

Military sources told Reuters a team from the Joint Verification Mechanism, a regional body created to investigate incidents between the two countries, was looking into the clash.

Rwanda and Congo have a long history of antagonism, with Kigali repeatedly sending troops across its border to tackle Rwandan rebels based in Congo.   Continued...

 
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