Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Troops face-off at DRC-Rwanda border

12 June 2014, 17:40

Kinshasa/Kigali - Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda sent extra troops to their shared border on Thursday after gunfire briefly broke out for the second day, ending months of relative calm in the volatile region.

Congolese and Rwandan officials each accused the other's armies of mounting cross-border raids on Wednesday that prompted heavy fire between the two forces. Gunfire was reported early on Thursday morning but had ceased by 08:00 local time.

UN-backed Congolese troops crushed an uprising last year in eastern Congo, a mineral-rich area plagued by years of war, which borders Rwanda.

A Reuters reporter near the town of Kibumba in eastern Congo saw soldiers with heavy weapons gathering on both sides of the border throughout the morning.

"There were some shots fired but very few. It has already finished," Congo's North Kivu governor, Julien Paluku, said.

"The shots came from the Rwandan troops, our forces did not respond. They have clear instructions not to shoot unless the situation becomes very serious. We are not at war with Rwanda," he told Reuters by telephone.

Rwandan officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the clashes that first erupted near Kibumba.

"I appeal for calm from both sides and urge them to take immediate steps to re-establish security in the border area," Martin Kobler, head of the UN mission in Congo Monusco, said in a statement. France's foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said he was "concerned" by the violence and called for an immediate halt to fighting.

Kinshasa blamed Rwandan forces for provoking Wednesday's clashes by seizing and later killing a Congolese soldier.

Steal cows

Rwanda said its army killed five Congolese troops after they crossed the border and attacked Rwandan units, although Congo insists it lost only one soldier.

A Reuters cameraman on the Rwandan side of the border on Thursday saw five bodies lying in a beanfield wearing uniforms with the Congolese flag.

"They have surely taken some bodies, perhaps villagers, and put [Congolese army] uniforms on them," said Congolese government spokesperson Lambert Mende.

Residents said the Congolese soldiers were killed after they tried to steal cows, adding border incursions were frequent.

A regional inspection team was visible on the Rwandan side of the frontier, surrounded by Rwandan troops, as part of an investigation into the cause of the flare-up.

Rwandan troops have backed Congolese rebels during two wars in Congo since 1996 before Rwandan troops officially withdrew in 2003. Since then, Kinshasa and UN experts have repeatedly accused Kigali of backing Congolese rebels.

Rwanda denies the charges and says Congo is harbouring elements of the FDLR Hutu militia that took part in the 1994 genocide, killing at least 800 000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...