DRC explains circumstances under which its soldier crossed into Rwanda

On 21 November 2022 at 09:00

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has confirmed that a soldier shot dead recently on Rwandan territory is from Congolese Army (FARDC).

The soldier was shot dead in Gasutamo Village, Mbugangari Cell of Gisenyi Sector in Rubavu District in the night of Friday leading to Saturday 19th November 2022.

A statement released by Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) on Saturday indicated that the soldier crossed through the small border between the two countries in Rubavu District and started shooting at Rwandan soldiers on patrol, which prompted them to shot him dead.

Congolese Army spokesman in Northern Kivu, Lt Col Guillaume Ndjike Kaiko has confirmed to the media that the soldier shot dead is from FARDC.

“Following an investigation, we have established that he is a soldier of Congo who was recently deployed to Northern Kivu. He knew well border demarcations between Rwanda and Congo,” he said.

He further stated that the soldier was on patrol along with colleagues and mistakenly crossed the border between Rwanda and DRC.

Following his death, the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) was informed of the incident.

The EJVM is a mechanism of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) composed of military officers from the 12 member countries that is charged with monitoring and verification of border violations between DRC and neighbouring countries.

The Congolese soldier was shot dead in 50 meters from no man’s land. He is the third shot dead at the border between the two countries this year.

The first was shot dead in June as he crossed into Rwanda with a rapid fire on Rwandan police personnel and residents crossing the border.

The second was shot dead in Busasamana Sector of Rubavu District early August.

His death follows protests by Congolese accusing Rwanda of supporting M23 rebel group in clashes with Congolese Army.

Rwanda has however denied the allegations and accuses DRC of working with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in the fight with M23.

FDLR is a terrorist group formed by individuals responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The soldier was shot dead as he crossed into Rwanda in the night of Friday.