Rwanda says Congolese soldier crossed border and opened fire

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KIGALI, Rwanda (UKTN) — The Rwandan army says a Congolese soldier crossed the border and began shooting at Rwandan security forces and civilians before being shot, the latest escalation in tensions between the countries.

According to a statement from the Rwanda Defense Forces, the unidentified soldier crossed the border on Friday morning in Rubavu district and injured two Rwandan policemen. The statement said a Rwandan national police officer fired in self-defense and the Congolese soldier was killed.

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The Rwandan statement said that the Congolese authorities were informed and that border agents from both countries were on the scene. Rwanda has requested that the incident be investigated by a body of military experts from regional states.

“The situation at the border is now calm,” Rwanda’s statement said.

A Congolese government spokesman confirmed an “incident” but gave no details.

Decades-old tensions between Rwanda, which has one of Africa’s most effective armies, and Congo, one of the continent’s largest and most troubled countries, have been rising along their border town a few hours drive from the Rwandan capital, Kigali. The alarm has reached the point where Kenya’s president is urging the immediate deployment of a newly created regional force to eastern Congo to keep the peace.

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Each side accused the other of incursions. Congo is now seeking to suspend all agreements with Rwanda. If Rwanda wants war, “it will have war”, a spokesman for the military governor of the Congolese province of North Kivu told thousands of protesters on Wednesday.

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