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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid