Congolese Army, FDLR kidnap two Rwandan soldiers

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 28 May 2022 at 03:00

Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) has announced that Congolese Army in collaboration with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) have kidnapped two Rwandan soldiers on patrol.

FDLR is rebel outfit comprised of remnant masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi who at different times plotted hit-and-run attacks to Rwanda and repelled back.

RDF has through a statement disclosed that kidnapped soldiers include Cpl Nkundabagenzi Elysee and Pte Ntwari Gad being held by FDLR in Eastern DRC.

"Following the provocative aggression by FARDC on 23 May 22, where multiple rockets were fired on Rwandan territory, FARDC with FDLR attacked RDF along our border, and two Rwanda Defence Force soldiers were kidnapped while on patrol," reads part of the statement released on Sunday 28th May 2022.

RDF has also called upon ’authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo that work closely with these genocidal armed groups to secure the release of the RDF soldiers’.

It has been quite some time since FARDC was reported to be working with different rebel groups based in eastern part of the country including FDLR to fight M23 rebel outfit.

The fighting erupted in March this year and later halted for a while. It however resumed towards the end of last week.

During the fight on Monday 23rd May 2022, FARDC shelled projectiles on Rwandan territory which injured residents in three sectors including Kinigi and Nyange (in Musanze District) and Gahunga in Burera District. The shelling also left houses destroyed.

On Thursday this week, the Spokesperson of the Government of Rwanda, Yolande Makolo requested the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to explain why Congolese Army has collaborated with FDLR.

She stated that ‘the fighting between FARDC and M23 is an intra-Congolese conflict’ noting that Rwanda has no interest of being dragged into the matter.

Makolo also inquired into the motive behind cooperation with FDLR comprised of remnants of genocidaires forces that still have intentions to destabilize Rwanda.

Meanwhile, DRC has announced ’conservative measures’ against Rwanda where the country blocked flights from RwandAir accusing Rwanda of supporting M23.

The decision comes at a time when the fighting between FARDC and M23 is escalating where Congolese Military continues to loose its strongholds.

Among others; RDF recently requested urgent investigation by the regional Extended Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) to investigate this week’s cross-border shelling in Musanze and Burera Districts.

Headquartered in Goma, the EJVM was launched in September 2012 in Goma and comprises of military experts from the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Member States. It monitors and carries out investigations on security incidents.

Different analysts have told IGIHE that the repetitive attacks of FARDC are meant to drag Rwanda into a fight.

RDF has announced that Congolese Army in collaboration with FDLR have kidnapped two Rwandan soldiers on patrol.