Congo accuses Rwanda of ‘invasion’ as rebels cross border
Authorities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have accused neighbouring Rwanda of “invading” a volatile border area, portraying an advancing rebel insurgency as a Rwandan military operation.
The Rwandan government has consistently denied allegations that it is fomenting and supporting the Tutsi-dominated M23 rebel movement in Congo’s mineral-rich North Kivu province, long a tinderbox of regional ethnic and political tensions.
Erneste Kyaviro, spokesman for North Kivu governor Julien Paluku, said yesterday: “It’s not a rebellion, it’s an invasion. We didn’t think that the Rwandan army would be throwing all its might into Congolese territory.”
Last month, UN experts laid out evidence of high-ranking Rwandan military officials backing the Congolese rebels.
The rebels drove back the Congolese government army in a determined offensive over the last few days, forcing UN peacekeepers to withdraw into isolated operating bases in the hilly countryside.
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