Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • French teenage girls held over Syria jihad plans

    Read more

  • Good borders make good neighbours, Merkel tells Ukraine

    Read more

  • Iceland issues aviation alert on volcano activity

    Read more

  • France will not be 'be pushed around' by Germany

    Read more

  • Libya withdraws as Africa Cup of Nations host

    Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

Africa

Rwanda accuses DR Congo of bombing its territory

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-08-29

The Rwandan government accused the Democratic Republic of Congo of shelling its territory on Thursday amid mounting cross-border tensions. Congo and Rwanda have fought two wars over the past two decades in Congo’s mineral-rich, lawless east.

Rwanda accused Congo on Thursday of shelling its territory and said it would not tolerate such “provocation”, raising fears that violence in eastern Congo could erupt into a regional conflict.

The Democratic Republic of Congo said Rwanda’s accusation was a sign Kigali wanted to intervene openly in its eastern war. Rwanda has denied accusations by U.N. experts that it covertly backs Congo’s M23 rebels.

The mounting cross-border tensions came as a newly-deployed U.N. Intervention Brigade, with an unprecedented mandate to crush rebel groups, entered combat alongside the Congolese army for the first time. U.N. officials accused the M23 of firing a shell into Rwanda on Thursday which killed a civilian.

Congo and Rwanda have fought two wars over the last two decades in Congo’s mineral-rich, lawless east. Rwanda has come under intense international pressure to play a constructive role for peace in its larger neighbour after rebels seized control of
Goma, the largest city in eastern Congo, in November.

Regional mediators said they were “gravely concerned” by the escalation in violence and called for a return to peace talks. M23 rebels said they were ready for a bilateral ceasefire but this was promptly rejected by Kinshasa.

Rwanda said a woman was killed and a baby seriously injured by a shell that fell in its territory on Thursday.

“We have the capacity to determine who fired at us and will not hesitate to defend our territory. Rwanda has a responsibility to protect its population,” Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said in a statement.

Mushikiwabo did not say what action might be taken. She said a total of 34 rounds had been fired into Rwanda in the last month by Congolese forces: “We have remained restrained for as long as we can but this provocation can no longer be tolerated.”

Kinshasa said the statement was part of a plan to justify Rwandan intervention in Congo’s eastern Kivu provinces, a decade after Kigali officially withdrew troops from a previous war.

“All (Rwanda) wants to do is find a way to create permanent disorder to allow them to enter and loot the Kivus, as they have done over the last 15 years,” Congolese Information Minister Lambert Mende told Reuters.

Ray Virgilio Torres, the top civilian official in the U.N. peacekeeping mission in North Kivu province, said U.N. troops had confirmed that the shell that killed the woman in Rwanda was fired by rebels in the frontline town of Kibati.

“It is something we condemn in the strongest terms, they are war crimes and something that for us remains unacceptable.”

A rebel spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Military solution


Goma, the capital of North Kivu, has been at the heart of two decades of conflict stretching back to the Rwandan genocide. Since then, Kigali has repeatedly intervened in Congo, saying it had to hunt down Hutu militia who fled into Congo’s lawless east after taking part in the 1994 mass killings.

The M23 is the latest incarnation of eastern Congo’s Tutsi-led rebellions exploiting Kinshasa’s weak grip on its borderlands, where there is a complex web of local politics and regional conflicts over ethnicity, land and minerals.

Reuters reporters in Goma heard blasts of heavy weapons from the frontline around Kibati, 11 km (7 miles) to the north. A U.N. military spokesman confirmed U.N. attack helicopters had carried out air strikes but gave no further details.

A brief rebel seizure of Goma last November embarrassed the U.N. and prompted the creation of the 3,000-strong brigade with a mandate to neutralise armed groups, including the M23.

A Tanzanian peacekeeper was killed in Wednesday’s fighting, the first death since the brigade engaged rebels last week after accusing the insurgents of shelling the lakeside town of a million people.

A diplomat in the Great Lakes region said Rwanda had provided support to rebels to counter the subsequent U.N. aerial and ground assault. Rwanda blocked U.N. sanctions against two M23 leaders on Wednesday.

Regional countries, acting under an umbrella organisation called ICGLR, called on Thursday for a resumption of stalled peace talks. The U.N. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region Mary Robinson has also said for a political solution.

Global intelligence firm Stratfor said the involvement of the U.N. brigade had made a negotiated solution less likely.

“(Congo’s) president will continue to push for a military solution to the crisis in North Kivu and appeal for additional support from the U.N. forces in the country,” Stratfor added.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-08-29

  • DR Congo - UN

    UN peacekeeper killed in DR Congo skirmishes

    Read more

  • DR CONGO

    Goma residents protest after deadly attack on civilians

    Read more

  • USA - RWANDA

    US urges Rwanda to end support for DR Congo rebels

    Read more

COMMENT(S)