Rwanda accuses Congo of shelling border town

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – Rwanda accused UN-backed Congolese forces of shelling its territory during a battle with rebels near the border yesterday but said it had no plans to respond militarily to what it called Kinshasa’s “provocation”.

Tension between the central African neighbors is reaching breaking point over an insurgency in Congo’s eastern hills that Kinshasa’s government says is orchestrated by Rwanda with designs on the region’s mineral riches.

“Rwanda does not intend to respond to provocation coming from the DRC,” Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told Reuters. “Issues in (eastern Democratic Republic of Congo) are too serious to be subjected to game playing.”

A Rwandan army spokesman earlier said Congo’s military had fired artillery, anti-aircraft and tank rounds into the Rwandan border town of Gisenyi, injuring three people, as fighting raged between Congo’s army and advancing M23 rebels.

Guests at a Rwandan hotel near Congo’s border ran for cover yesterday afternoon as heavy weapons fire thudded nearby, a Reuters witness said.

Sustained gunfire could also be heard across the border from the direction of the airport in Goma, the capital of Congo’s North Kivu province where Congolese troops, some manning tanks, took up positions in the city center at nightfall.

The M23 halted their advance about 5 km (3 miles) from Goma on Sunday.

Congo’s government, which has repeatedly accused Rwanda of backing the eight-month M23 rebellion as a means of controlling mineral riches in North Kivu, said yesterday Kigali may have staged the shelling on its own territory.

“We have information that Rwanda has been firing into their own territory to justify a larger intervention,” Congo government spokesman Lambert Mende said, without outright denying reports of Congolese shelling.

A local UN official said Congo’s presidential guard unit had fired the heavy weapons into Rwandan territory, though a spokesman for the United Nations in New York said the reports could not be immediately confirmed.

More in World News


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning:

Most Read This Week

  1. Ramesh Manbodh

    Man beaten with bat passes away

  2. Bibi Shareema (left) and her mother Bibi Shameela in
happier times

    Greenwich Park woman died 44 days after brutally stabbed by ex-partner

  3. Bharrat Jagdeo

    Meeting of Cabinet at GDF HQ pilloried by Jagdeo

  4. Fast food lovers inside KFC yesterday

    KFC back in business

  5. The building housing the home and grocery

    Bandits invade Alness businessman’s house, shots fired

  6. Alimudeen Gobin’s demolished house

    Violent storm lashes No. 19 Village

  7. The ganja found in Prashad Nagar (Police photo)

    Police find 52 lbs of ganja in Prashad Nagar house

  8. The AK 47 and ammo found (Police photo)

    AK 47, ammo found behind wardrobe

  9. tensions

    Player tensions with WICB reaching breaking point: Sir Viv

Recommended For You