In a renewed border incident between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Rwandan military announced on January 16, 2024, that it had killed one Congolese “soldier” and apprehended two others who, according to their account, had crossed the border between the two nations.
The Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) reported that the incident occurred around 11 a.m., Kigali time, on Tuesday morning. According to the official statement, three armed Congolese soldiers crossed the border in the Rubavu district, specifically in the Rukoko cell, bordering North Kivu in the DRC and near the city of Goma.
Incidents and Intrusions
Among them were a sergeant and a corporal, both apprehended by a Rwandan patrol and a local neighborhood surveillance network. According to the RDF, the third Congolese soldier was neutralized as he allegedly opened fire on the Rwandan military.
This marks one in a series of border incidents reported by both countries over the past two years. In March 2023, Rwanda had previously claimed to have neutralized a Congolese soldier who had reportedly fired near the border between the cities of Rubavu and Goma.
On the other side, Kinshasa regularly accuses the Rwandan army of incursions into its territory, purportedly aimed at bolstering the armed group M23—a claim consistently refuted by Kigali.
The recurrence of such border tensions underscores the delicate nature of the relationship between Rwanda and the DRC. As diplomatic channels navigate these challenges, the international community will be closely monitoring the developments, mindful of the potential for these incidents to escalate and impact regional stability.