19 February 2018

Rwanda: RDF Hands Over Bodies of Congolese Soldiers

Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) on Saturday handed over bodies of three Congolese soldiers who were killed during a recent attack on Rwandan territory.

The soldiers were killed when Congolese forces (FARDC) attacked RDF base in Shingiro sector, Musanze District on February 13.

Lt Col. Innocent Munyengango, the Military and Defense spokesperson said the RDF handed over the bodies and military ammunition left behind to FARDC, at the Rwanda-DR Congo border in Rubavu District.

"We successfully handed over to FARDC the bodies of their soldiers killed during the incident. Before handing them over, we held talks and agreed that both parties should share information to avoid similar incidents," he said.

RDF said their Congolese counterparts attacked their base and started shooting at them before they returned fire.

Following the incident, the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM),a DR Congo based team of military experts from different countries in the region, launched investigations to establish the aggressors and motive behind their attack.

RDF argues that FARDC had violated Rwanda's territorial integrity and attacked its base despite the existing cordial relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

Lt Col. Munyengango said EJVM team has visited the scene of fighting.

"We showed them evidence that FARDC attacked our base and the country, we used GPS to prove that our base is close to 1.5km from the Rwanda-DR Congo border. We assure the general public of security as the incident occurred in a remote and uninhabited area. The country's security won't be compromised in any way," he added.

RDF officials also called for joint efforts to neutralise armed groups based in DR Congo such as FDLR, saying they remain a threat to regional security.

FDLR is mainly made up of elements that masterminded the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

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