Rwanda denies ‘baseless’ DR Congo claims of border incursion

Rwanda’s defence ministry on Friday dismissed as “baseless” claims by the Democratic Republic of Congo that forces from Kigali had staged an incursion across the border.

Tensions between the neighboring countries have escalated since the M23 militia’s resurgence in late 2021 in eastern DRC. Kinshasa has accused Rwanda of supporting the rebels, while Kigali denies these allegations.

On Thursday, DR Congo’s military accused Rwandan forces of entering its North Kivu province, stating that it would “respond vigorously blow by blow and exercise the right to pursue” in reaction to the incursion.

On Friday, Rwanda’s defense ministry refuted the allegations, stating that they were “false.”

“The accusations are baseless and part of a long-standing pattern of misinformation and propaganda by the DRC leadership to divert attention from their internal failures in maintaining peace and security within their own borders,” the ministry said.

The claims were deemed to be part of a “trend of false accusations and escalation,” possibly serving as a pretext for a planned attack on Rwandan territory.

The Tutsi-led M23 has gained control over significant areas in North Kivu, and in May, DR Congo accused Rwanda of plotting an attack on the regional capital, Goma.

Since the resurgence of fighting involving M23, over one million people have been displaced from their homes.

The rebels have advanced close to cutting off Goma, a bustling commercial hub with a population of one million people, situated between the Rwandan border and Lake Kivu.

For three decades, armed groups have been a persistent issue in much of eastern DR Congo, a consequence of regional conflicts that erupted in the 1990s and 2000s.

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