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Rwanda says it killed a Congolese soldier who crossed the border, heightening tensions

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KIGALI, Rwanda — Rwanda’s army on Tuesday mentioned it had killed a Congolese soldier who crossed the border and allegedly fired at Rwandan military patrols, the newest incident in cross-border tensions between the neighbors.

The Rwanda Protection Drive mentioned in a press release it additionally arrested two Congolese troopers who had been with the one killed. It mentioned they crossed the border at Isangano village in Rubavu district, close to the Congolese metropolis of Goma in japanese Congo.

A neighborhood farmer, who spoke on situation of anonymity due to concern of reprisals, instructed The Related Press the Congolese troopers appeared to have crossed into Rwanda unknowingly, as some border markings might be troublesome to see.

The incident occurred on the identical day Rwandan President Paul Kagame met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the World Financial Discussion board in Davos and mentioned the right way to ease tensions in japanese Congo.

“The Secretary reiterated the necessity for all actors to take concrete steps to resolve the scenario,” State Division spokesman Matthew Miller mentioned Tuesday in a press release.

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For months, Congo’s authorities has accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 armed insurgent group that’s been lively in japanese Congo, forcing a whole bunch of 1000’s of individuals to flee their properties. Rwanda has repeatedly denied the declare.

In March final yr, the Rwandan military shot {dead} a soldier from Congo whom it alleged had crossed the border and shot at Rwanda Protection Drive troopers in Rubavu district. The incident led to an trade of fireplace between troopers from the 2 nations however no additional casualties have been reported, the pressure mentioned.

Congo’s President Félix Tshisekedi, whereas campaigning for his reelection final month, alleged that Kagame was behaving like “Hitler,” which Rwanda’s authorities described as “a loud and clear menace.”

Relations between Rwanda and Congo have been fraught for many years. Rwanda alleges that Congo gave refuge to ethnic Hutus who carried out the 1994 Rwandan genocide that killed no less than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and average Hutus. Within the late Nineties, Rwanda twice despatched its forces into Congo. The Rwandan forces have been broadly accused of looking down and killing ethnic Hutu, even civilians. Rwanda denies it.

Tshisekedi has lengthy accused Kagame and Rwanda of offering army assist to M23, the newest iteration of Congolese Tutsi fighters to grab cities in components of mineral-rich North Kivu. The U.N. and human rights teams accuse M23 of atrocities starting from rape to mass killings and say it receives backing from Rwanda. Rwanda denies any ties with the rebels.



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