In the aftermath of the clash between the Congolese army and Rwandan soldiers in North Kivu, the Rwandan army acknowledged that, without intent, elements of the army crossed the border in pursuit of the suspects.
Rwandan security forces involuntarily crossed a few meters into the DRC by pursuing smugglers who were carrying unidentified packages believed to be armed. The RDF (Rwandan Defense Force) and the FARDC maintain good relations and continue to collaborate on security issues,” the statement said.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, civil society organizations and the political class are multiplying statements hostile to what they describe as “an act of provocation”. The National Assembly, by MK Jackson Ahuse, summoned the Defense Minister to answer questions from parliamentarians about the clash between the two armies.
On Monday, October 18, military officials said: “The Rwandan army invaded six villages in North Kivu province. They approached less than 200 meters from the national road number 2. They were contained by the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo until reinforcements arrived, they turned back. We recovered a weapon and there was also looting,” said Colonel Ndjike Kaiko Guillaume, spokesman for the 34th military region and head of military operations in North Kivu.
The incursion by the Rwandan military created a great panic in Kibumbe, in the territory of Nyiragongo, North Kivu, causing the villagers to flee.
As soon as the Congolese army announced the incident, Vincent Karega, Rwandan ambassador to the DRC, had put himself on the defensive, minimizing the facts. To a netizen who was looking for clarification from him, the diplomat replied: “There is nothing to illuminate because there are no shadows. The lies of incursion, occupation/looting in the blink of an eye will quickly be faded for lack of evidence. The fact is minor around the prosecution of fraudsters. The rest is the buzz of a tension mounted from scratch.”
Congolese army officials have announced their intention to seize the international conference on the Great Lakes region. “We are all members of the joint verification mechanism. We will seize this mechanism in the near future to find out the motive for this attack,” said Colonel Ndjike Kaiko Guillaume. With the explanations of the RDF, will the Congolese authorities give up seizing the ICGLR? The next few days will tell.
By Patrick Ilunga