4 November 2012

Rwanda: DRC Soldiers Enter Rwanda, Two Killed in Shoot Out

Two soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who, on Saturday, allegedly entered Rwanda illegally on a spy mission, were killed in a shoot out with Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF).

One of the deceased was identified as Corporal Mbanza Numba Bisogolo. His slain colleague could not be readily identified because he was immediately whisked away during the gun battle.

Mbanza's body was last evening handed over to the DRC Government in Rusura village, Busasamana sector in Rubavu district.

The body was received and identified by DRC's head of 8th Regional Command, Col Everest Somo Kakule.

Kakule declined to speak to the press after receiving the body. Defence Attachés from Uganda and France were on site to witness the handover of the body.

Mbanza's identification documents and recovered ammunition (including one sub machine gun, 173 rounds of ammunition and six complete magazines) were retained by officials from the Joint Verification Mechanism (JVM).

Col Gabriel Ntirandekura, the team leader of the JVM said that a thorough investigation about the incidence would be conducted and a full report compiled.

Available information shows that Mbanza was a member of the 69th Battalion mainly comprised of military intelligence personnel.

According to reliable sources, at about 12:00 p.m., on Saturday, a contingent of between 70 and 100 soldiers, including Mbanza, illegally crossed and opened fire on Rwandan military observers about 400metres into the Rwandan territory.

During an interview, RDF Spokesperson Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita said RDF soldiers acted in self defence.

"We were alerted by residents and our soldiers fought back when they started shooting at us," he said.

Nzabamwita said that one RDF soldier was injured in the process and is currently admitted at Kanombe Military Hospital.

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