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.
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.
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.