DRC Says its Forces Clashed with their Rwandan Counterparts Near Eastern Border on Monday

    The Democratic Republic of Congo says its forces clashed with their Rwandan counterparts near the eastern border on Monday.

    An army spokesperson in North Kivu province said Rwandan forces crossed into Congo and tensions culminated into a clash.

    “A military company of Rwandan forces reached five kilometres into Congo…You can’t explain how armed forces cross the border firing guns," Brig Gen Sylvain Ekenge told the BBC Great Lakes.

    The Rwandan army has not responded to the claim or to BBC's request for a response.

    Videos circulating online show locals in panic and fleeing as two forces exchanged gunfire. Rwandan soldiers later retreated back home.

    “Fortunately, no one died from the incident”, Gen Ekenge said.

    Local leaders said residents returned to their homes after calm was restored.

    Cross border tensions between the two East African neighbours are common due to illegal trade, lack of clear boundary demarcation and attacks by rebels.

    In 2012, a regional Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) was set up to handle cross border security issues.

    Gen Ekenge said they had reported the latest incident to the EJVM for investigations because “we want to know why”.

    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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