Rwandan and Congolese troops briefly clashed at their common border on Friday, leaving a soldier from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) army dead, the Rwandan military has said.
In a statement issued on Friday night, the Rwandan military accused a soldier of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) of initiating the fighting on Friday evening, who “crossed over and shot at Rwandan soldiers manning the common border between Grande Barriere and Petite Barriere,” in western Rwanda’s Rubavu district.
“The RDF (Rwanda Defense Force) soldiers returned fire, killing the FARDC soldier on the Rwandan side of the border. Several other FARDC soldiers fired at the RDF position resulting in a brief exchange of fire,” the statement said, adding that calm was restored later at the border.
There was no immediate reaction from the Congolese military.
The statement also said the Rwandan military has formally reported the incident to the Extended Joint Verification Mechanism, a regional military framework for 12 countries of the Great Lakes region.
The latest incident came amid heightened tensions between the two countries over Congolese M23 rebels fighting in the DRC’s eastern North Kivu Province, which to the east borders Uganda and Rwanda. The DRC accuses Rwanda of supporting the rebels, a charge Kigali has repeatedly denied.