Tension As DRC Soldier Is Arrested In Rwanda

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Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, Sergeant Major Kusakana Munanga Andre, service number (matricule): 1-72-88-93460-89 was on Sunday arrested by Rwanda’s security services in Rubavu Town, Western Rwanda in what officials described as “very suspicious activities.”

Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) publicist, Brig Joseph Nzabamwita, said the DRC soldier “was heavily armed, dressed in full battle dress and carrying all sorts of military gear.”

“Sgt Major Kusakana Munanga Andre was arrested at around 1320hrs at Mbuga Ngali village, Rubavu Town, where FARDC deliberately fired a rocket that killed Mukagasana Vestine injuring her two months old baby on 29 August 2013,” elaborated Nzabamwita.

“A total of 38 rockets and bombs were fired in Rubavu District, by FARDC from 15 July to 29 August 2013,” he added.

The Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) has since been asked to carry out verification of this latest violation.

The development comes at a time when Rwanda is furiously demanding that the DRC army stops all forms of support to the FDLR militia, an outfit that draws its leadership and militants from perpetrators of the Rwanda 1994 genocide.

Rwanda also insists that the FDLR must be disarmed and disintegrated.

Regional leaders under the auspices of the ICGLR recently met in Kampala where they agreed that DRC and M23 rebels return to peace talks while the UN Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) takes on several militia groups in the war-torn country – specifically FDLR and Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

However, it appears the FIB has been making good use of FDLR in their ground offensives against M23.

Despite fresh directives from regional leaders, it is unlikely that FIB will now turn guns on FDLR, a strategic ally.

In preparation for a wide scale attack from DRC, Rwanda has in recent weeks been piling up thousands of heavily-armed troops and tanks along its border.

The arrest of the DRC soldier on Rwanda territory raises fears that Kinshasha and its allies could be planning a wider military operation against Rwanda.

According to Nzabamwita, on November 3, 2012, two FARDC and FDLR fighters conducted combined armed reconnaissance at Busasamana, Rubavu District in Rwanda.

Cpl Nzaza Nyabigoro, a suspected FDLR fighter embedded in 391 Reconnaissance Battalion of FARDC was killed. His remains were handed over to the FARDC 8 Military Region Commander, Col Evariste Somo Kakule.

EJVM investigated this incident before concluding that it was a reconnaissance for FDLR attack on Rwanda territory on November 27, 2012.

Posted by Tom Ndahiro

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