Armed ViolenceNews

Many Rwandan Civilians Injured As Rockets Fired From DR Congo Fall In Musanze District

The rockets, fired from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the morning of Monday, May 23 lasted 21 minutes, wounding civilians and destroying properties. Rwanda has called for an investigation.

The Rwandan Government says many of its civilians were wounded by rocket fire coming from across its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and has called for “an urgent investigation into the incident”.

The Rwandan army authorities on Monday, May 23, said rockets fell in the district of  Musanze on the border with the DR Congo, wounding several civilians and destroying houses.

The rockets were fired yesterday morning and lasted 21 minutes, the army authorities said in a statement without giving further details.

Col. Ronald Rwivanga, the Rwandan army spokesperson who issued the statement said “the situation in the zone is normal now and security is assured”. 

But the Rwandan government disclosed it has asked the Joint Enlarged Verification Mechanism, which is a regional organ that watches and carries out investigations on security incidents in the volatile Great Lakes region, to carry out an immediate investigation.

“The Rwandan authorities have equally contacted their Congolese counterparts concerning the incident,” Col. Rwivanga indicated.

The DR Congo has not made any statement concerning the incident and the Rwandan accusations.

The two neighbouring countries, it should be recalled, maintain tense relations since the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

Since the massive arrival in the DR Congo of Rwandan Hutus accused of having massacred Tutsis during the genocide, Rwanda has regularly been accused by the Kinshasa authorities of incursions into Congolese territory and of supporting armed groups in the eastern part of the country.

There has been a thaw in the tense relations between the two countries since President Felix Tshisekedi came to power in 2019 and he has on several occasions held meetings with Rwandan president Paul Kagame.

However, the resumption of activities by the M23 rebellion, which is active in the eastern DR Congo, has revived suspicions with Rwanda being accused by the Congolese authorities of supporting the M23, an accusation Rwanda rejects.


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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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