One person in Rwanda was injured by a stray bullet from DRC as skirmishes between armed groups inside the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) spilled over the Rwandan frontier, in the border district of Rubavu, on Monday.
A statement issued by the Office of the Government Spokesperson, Yolande Makolo, said the incident happened on Monday, October 23, around 12h30, in Rubavu Sector in Rwanda’s Western Province.
“A civilian was injured by a stray bullet originating from clashes among the coalition of Kinshasa-backed illegal armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), close to the Rwandan border. The injured man is receiving treatment at the Cyanzarwe Health Centre in Rubavu,” the statement reads in part.
“Rwanda is deeply concerned by the ongoing support and collaboration of the Government of the DRC with FDLR, other illegal armed groups and foreign mercenaries, which is escalating provocative actions along the Rwandan border, in violation of the Luanda and Nairobi processes,” it added.
The statement further added that Rwanda will maintain defensive and preventive mechanisms to guard against violations of our airspace and borders, and counter any spill-over into Rwanda from any armed group, in order to ensure the security and safety of Rwandan citizens and residents.
Speaking earlier on Monday at the opening of the Preparatory Conference for the 2023 Peacekeeping Ministerial on Protection of Civilians and Strategic Communications, the Minister of Defence, Juvenal Marizamunda said that the presence of FDLR and other armed groups which propagate the the genocidal and hate ideology continues to undermine regional security.
He pointed out that despite Rwanda raising the alarm over the years, little has been done to deal with the FDLR, which continues to pose a threat to Rwanda’s security.
“Their genocidal ideology is now directed against communist communities of Rwandan expression, with the support of the host government, in the presence of the international community,” the Defence Minister said.
“Little is being done to stop disinformation and hate speech despite several warnings, including that of the Special Advisor of the Secretary General on Prevention of Genocide and the UN Human Rights Commission. Disinformation, misinformation and hate speech exploit the advancement of technology to spread using social media, which is as useful to criminals as it is for peacekeepers,” he added.
Fighting between armed groups in Eastern DRC have escalated in recent days, with a coalition of FDLR, Nyatura, Mai Mai and other negative militias, grouped under the Wazalendo (Patriots) and backed by government forces FARDC facing off with M23 rebels in North Kivu Province.
M23 said on Sunday it repulsed attacks in areas of Kitshanga and Kinyandoni, sending the militias in disarray, while several members as well as guns and ammunition were captured.
With the backing of President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, members of the Wazalendo militia have been threatening to cross over to Rwanda but security along the border has kept them at bay. Rwanda maintains that the presence of FDLR in DRC, which enjoys the backing of Kinshasa, is a major deterrent to regional security and stability.