Rwanda: US Embassy in Kigali issues security alert advising personnel to avoid travel to Kinigi and Nyange areas until May 31

    Event

    The US Embassy in Kigali issued a security alert May 25 advising its personnel to refrain from traveling to the Kinigi and Nyange areas of Musanze District, Northern Province, until at least May 31. US Embassy authorities issued the alert to facilitate a "thorough assessment of the security situation" after cross-border shelling from the DRC reportedly wounded several people and damaged property in Musanze District May 23.

    Heightened security is likely in the Kinigi and Nyange areas over the short term. Increased security measures may result in localized transport disruptions.

    Context

    Rwandan authorities have accused Congolese military forces of carrying out the May 23 shelling and have called for the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) to investigate the incident.

    Tensions between the two countries are high as March 23 Movement (M23) rebels have recently advanced in eastern DRC, attacking Congolese forces at the Rumangabo base near the Rwandan border May 25. Thousands of people have fled their homes in recent days amid the fighting. Some Congolese officials have alleged that Kigali supports militants in eastern DRC, including those from the M23 rebel group; Rwandan officials have denied the accusations.

    Advice

    Consider deferring nonessential travel to the Kinigi and Nyange areas of Northern Province over the short term. If travel to these areas is essential, exercise heightened vigilance and carry proper identification and travel documents at all times. Remain polite and nonconfrontational if stopped at a security checkpoint. Maintain contact with your diplomatic mission.

    SOURCE

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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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