DRC border closures raises tension with Rwanda
The move by Congolese government authorities to close down its border posts along the western region of Rwanda has raised tensions for residents and traders who do business along the region.
According to reports the DR Congo government ordered the closer of the border posts without availing any official notifications to the Rwandan immigration department, an act which left many travelers stranded along the borders.
The Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, Anaclet Kalibata, said the decision was abrupt and the neigbouring government should have acted according to the diplomatic protocol so as to give travelers a chance to adjust to the changes.
Rwanda shares borders with DR Congo along the Rusizi 1 (Rusiizi-Bukavu) and the Corniche border post (Rubavu–Goma). The decision to close the border posts was taken on October 22, and a good number of travelers were reportedly stranded at the two border posts and business came to a standstill, though on the Rwanda side- the borders remained active and open.
Immigration officials on the Rwandan side said that their Congolese counterparts said that the borders would be closed but provided no proper explanation and claimed that the orders had come from above (top government officials).
Other sources claimed that the closer was related to the current conflict between Rwanda and Congo over the M23 rebel group, in which the latter has accused its neighbors of supporting the rebel activities.
Apparently, there were fears that some Rwandans had been caught up on the Congolese side and could fall victims of torture as it has been the case along the Rubavu-Goma border post where a good number of Rwandan traders were allegedly tortured by the Congolese soldiers
President Paul Kagame has recently called on the Congolese government to resolve the issues of rebel and leave the games of pointing fingers to Rwanda as a scapegoat to blame for their own internal problems.
Some of the diplomats who have visited the region have called for quick solutions to the conflict which has seemingly taken ages and caused more insurgencies and loss of lives and displacement of thousands.