News / Africa

DRC Official Blames Rwanda over Troop Clashes

DRC Communication minister and government spokesman, Lambert Mende (file photo)
DRC Communication minister and government spokesman, Lambert Mende (file photo)
Peter Clottey
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) information minister has criticized neighboring Rwanda saying it deliberately provoked and undermined his government’s efforts to improve security and stabilize the country following clashes at the border between Rwandan forces and the Congolese national army, the FARDC.

Lambert Mende also called on the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), a regional bloc, to launch an investigation into the circumstances that led to the clashes involving soldiers from the two countries.

“We are used to these games from our neighbors, whenever we are trying to solve this [security] problem. Now, we are trying to disarm this FDLR [the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda], you must see such games played from the other side of the border, just to jeopardize and stop the,” said Mende. “It’s as if somebody needs this FDLR to remain in our country so that they have the pretext to be coming in whenever they want” he said.

But, on the social media platform, Twitter, Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s foreign minister said the DRC government should take care not to cultivate unnecessary provocations and should stop its soldiers from repeatedly crossing into the Rwandan villages.

“Rwanda has put up for several months with behavior from DRC unbecoming of leadership, desirous of peace,” wrote Mushikiwabo on her Twitter feed.

Mende says the DRC government has evidence that shows that Rwanda is to blame for the clashes. He says Rwandan forces abducted and executed an FARDC soldier, which he says led to the clashes.

“According to clear evidence we have had, it seems like a group of elements of Rwanda Defense Force crossed our border and captured a corporal, brought him to Rwanda, [to] the other side of the border and this brought his friends to fire to protect their position and protect our border,” said Mende. “That is the first clash that occurred early in the morning. By 10 this morning, they took this corporal, and killed him while his friends on the Congo side of the border were witnessing. This provoked the second clash. So, if we are talking of provocation, it is really a deliberate provocation from Rwandan forces,” he said.

Mende denied FARDC forces crossed into Rwandan territory despite Ms. Mushikiwabo’s statement that urged Congo to prevent its soldiers from crossing into Rwandan villages.

“I can confirm that no soldier [from the] Congolese army crossed the border. But, this morning, soldiers from Rwanda crossed our border and came into Congo,” said Mende.

Some analysts say the clashes could further strain relations between the two countries.

Mende says he is hopeful a joint task force from the regional bloc could help ease tension between the two neighboring countries.
Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, DRC information minister
Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, DRC information ministeri
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Role in Fighting IS Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Paul Hollande from: Norway
June 11, 2014 4:20 PM
True: somebody want FDLR to be the eternal alibi for Rwanda and Uganda eternal adventure in DRC. It will take a strong and visionary leader in DRC to put an end to these games...

In Response

by: Reba from: Mutara
June 12, 2014 4:21 AM
I can't believe what this Mende is saying, as it is quite impossible that a group of soldiers cross the border, and kidnap a fighter who, strangely is alone, and take him in order to kill him in their country. It is simply ridiculous!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid