Suspected Congolese soldier killed in Rwanda: Rwandan ministry

Rwanda’s defence ministry said an unidentified man opened fire in Rubavu district before he was shot dead.

Congolese soldiers
Congolese soldiers have been battling the M23 rebel group, that DR Congo says is backed by Rwanda [File: Kenny Katombe/Reuters]

Rwanda’s defence ministry said an unidentified soldier believed to be from the Congolese army was killed after crossing the border and firing at local security forces on Saturday.

At about 1am local time (23:00 GMT), the man crossed the “petite barriere”, the border between Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, entering the Rubavu district before shooting at Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) guard towers, the ministry said in a statement.

“He was shot dead by RDF patrol before causing any casualties,” the statement read.

Congolese officials said the identity of the dead man was not known, but that no Congolese soldier on duty in the area had been reported missing, the AFP news agency reported.

The incident comes as rebels from the M23 group – which has been fighting the Congolese government for a decade – made considerable gains in recent weeks, advancing towards Goma as fighting intensifies.

DRC accuses Rwanda of supporting M23, but Rwanda has always denied the accusation.

M23 has waged several offensives in the eastern DRC this year, with clashes between the army and the rebels resulting in thousands of civilians being displaced since March.

Regional powers are working to ease relations between Rwanda and the DRC. Kenya’s former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame agreed on Friday on the need for M23 rebels to cease fire and withdraw from captured territories in the eastern DRC, the East African Community bloc said.

A second round of peace talks is set to take place in Angola’s capital Luanda next week.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies