BY Staff Reporter
A series of actions by the DRC continue to undermine regional efforts towards peace. On Wednesday morning in Rusura cell in the sector of Busasamana, a section of the DRC army crossed the border to Rwanda where they opened fire on a Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) patrol. The RDF retaliated and the resulting exchange of fire killed one FARDC soldier identified as Hategekimana Boysiro. The RDF immediately requested the Extended Joint Verification Mechanism for an independent assessment but their access to the site was denied by DRC authorities. The morning attacks were followed by a second attempt by two FARDC platoons to deploy into Rwanda that resulted in further exchange of fire leaving four FARDC soldiers dead.
These attacks come less than a year after a series of bombs were launched on Rwandan territory by FARDC. This includes an attack in August 2013 where a bomb launched from DRC territory landed in a marketplace in Bugangari killing Vestine Mukagasana and seriously injuring her two months old son.
Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and government spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo warned the DRC leadership against any further hostilities:
“These actions by the DRC are jeopardising the region’s extensive efforts to ensure peace, stability and development for all our citizens. We urge the leadership of the DRC to embrace the logic of peace and end all attacks on the Rwandan territory. Rwanda stands ready to protect its citizens.”
In the past three months, the DRC has unilaterally closed its border with Rwanda, imposed visa fees despite regional and bilateral agreements and failed to honour their commitment to neutralise the FDLR militia operating in the DRC for the last twenty years.