East Africa

Rwanda Troops, DR Congo Police Clash on Island in Lake Kivu

Due to continued tensions between Kigali and Kinshasa, a skirmish between Rwandan soldiers and DR Congo police on a small island in Lake Kivu on Sunday caused panic, according to Congolese reports.

According to Jackson Kalimba of the local civil society, several families left the island and sought sanctuary at Birava, which is located directly across the lake.

According to naval sources, the Rwandan forces did not disembark on the island before returning to base, and on Sunday, Archimede Karhebwa, a local assistant administrator for the DRC, declared things were under control.

The local navy unit was put on notice while the military high command took “steps to increase monitoring of Lake Kivu,” he continued, noting that one police officer had been shot.

By Sunday afternoon, AFP had not received a response from Rwandan officials regarding the altercation.

Relations between the neighbours have been tense owing to the recent resurgence of the Tutsi-led rebel group M23.

The group has pledged to retreat from conquered territories after months of advancing towards Goma, the capital of the DRC province of North Kivu at the northern end of the lake and likewise bordering Rwanda.

Kinshasa accuses Kigali of backing the rebels, which Rwanda denies.


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