RDF confirms another shelling by FARDC on Rwandan territory

On 10 June 2022 at 06:10

Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) has announced that Congolese Army (FARDC) has fired more rockets on Rwandan territory following the recent shelling in Kinigi Sector.

Unlike the recent shelling which injured people and destroyed houses, RDF has through a statement revealed that today’s shelling didn’t injure anyone.

"The DRC armed forces, FARDC, fired two 122mm rockets into Rwanda from the Bunagana area, striking along the Rwanda-DRC border in Nyabigoma Cell, Kinigi Sector, Musanze District on 10 June 2022 at 11:55am. There were no casualties but the local population is terrified," reads part of the statement.

This follows similar shelling by forces in DRC on 19th March and 23th May 2022 in Kinigi and Nyange Sectors of Musanze District and in Gahunga Sector of Burera District, which caused casualties and damaged property.

Rwanda has also reported more provocations by DRC including the kidnap by FARDC in collaboration with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) of two RDF soldiers on border patrol. The incidents have been reported to the Government of DRC, the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism of the ICGLR and other partners.

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 reassured the population that efforts to resolve the issue are underway noting that their safety is assured.

Speaking to the media recently; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vincent Biruta said that Rwanda is ready to protect its citizens in case the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) does not halt provocations.

Minister Biruta made the revelation on Tuesday 31st May 2022 during a press conference on the current situation of deteriorating relations with DRC.

The press conference was held amidst ongoing tension between Rwanda and DRC, where the latter accuses Rwanda of supporting M23 rebel outfit in clashes with Congolese Army (FARDC).

Rwanda has however been maintaining that the allegations ‘are baseless’ and accused DRC of working with FDLR.

Commenting on the previous shelling during the press briefing; Minister Biruta said that he called his counterpart of DRC inquiring into what happened, but did neither apologize to Rwanda nor reassure that it won’t happen again.

Minister Biruta also talked about Rwanda’s possible reaction in case DRC’s provocations linger. He disclosed that Rwanda won’t idly sit by if DRC doesn’t stop its provocations.

“We have responsibilities to protect our citizens and country’s borderlines. A country defends itself against attacks. This means, if the issue persists, we cannot idly sit by and wait for repetitive shelling on our citizens every day or provocations to kidnap people anytime. It is among issues pointed out at the African Union Summit in Malabo. I clearly indicated that we have legitimacy to respond and defend ourselves, in case we are attacked,” he noted during the recent press conference.

“We want such provocations to stop. We want these soldiers released. However, in case these attacks continue to threaten our country’s security, we would be legitimate to defend ourselves and you know that we have capacity,” Minister Biruta added.

RDF has confirmed another shelling by FARDC's shelling on Rwandan territory.