Rwanda Defence Force kills DRC soldier and arrests two others News
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Rwanda Defence Force kills DRC soldier and arrests two others

The Rwanda Defence Force stated Tuesday that after three soliders from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) crossed its border, one soldier was shot and killed, and two others were arrested.

The official statement disclosed that three soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo Armed Forces (FARDC) trespassed across the border from the DRC into Rwanda in the Rubavu District. Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF), aided by local neighborhood watch Irondo, successfully apprehended two soldiers. The third soldier was fatally shot by the patrol as he fired at them. No causalities were reported on the Rwanda side. The captured soldiers identified as Sergeant Asman Mupenda Termite and Corporal Anyasaka Nkoi Lucien are currently under investigation.

Rwanda and the DRC share a 221 km long border, and the recent incident further aggravates the ongoing tension between these neighboring nations. The strained relationship between Rwanda and the DRC has persisted for an extended period, with the DRC accusing Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebel group. In June 2023, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Rwanda-backed M23 rebels of war crimes, including murder and rape, in the eastern part of the DRC.

In July 2023, the European Union (EU) condemned the heightened violence and atrocities in the DRC, urging Rwanda to withdraw its troops from eastern DRC and cease its support for the M23. Rwanda has consistently denied these allegations, countering by accusing the DRC of collaborating with the National Liberation Front of Rwanda (FDLR), a Hutu rebel group which responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The long-standing border dispute has been a persistent issue, with both sides accusing each other of territorial violations. In July 2023, the DRC alleged that the RDF crossed its borders, a claim the RDF dismissed as “false accusations.”