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New security incident on the DRC-Rwanda border - Congolese army

New security incident on the DRC-Rwanda border - Congolese army
Rwandan security forces stand guard on their side of the Petite Barrière...   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

The army of the Democratic Republic of Congo claims to have repelled an incursion by the Rwandan army into the eastern province of North Kivu on Thursday and, in a statement issued in the evening, asserts its intention to "exercise the right of pursuit".

The press release, signed by General Sylvain Ekenge, spokesman for the FARDC (Forces armées de RDC) general staff, does not, however, repeat information reported by local Congolese sources that a Rwandan soldier was killed in the clash.

The Rwandan Defence Forces "crossed" the border north of Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu, on Thursday morning "to send reinforcements and continue to destabilise and intentionally violate the territorial integrity of our country", General Ekenge stated in his press release.

Elements of the FARDC responsible for border security repelled the Rwandan soldiers, "who withdrew to their country", the statement continued. "The FARDC will now respond vigorously on a piecemeal basis and exercise the right of hot pursuit", it concludes.

Two other military sources, interviewed in the Goma region, said on condition of anonymity that "one Rwandan soldier was killed" during the exchange of fire.

When contacted by AFP, the Rwandan army and government had not reacted by Thursday evening.

Relations between the DRC and Rwanda are at an all-time low, with Kinshasa criticising Kigali for supporting the M23 rebels who seized vast swathes of territory in North Kivu last year. Incidents on the border between the two countries are relatively frequent.

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