Rwanda border on high alert after DRC bombings
Rwandans living in Rubavu district, which borders Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and now on high alert after DRC government forces (FARDC) shelled two bombs on the Rwandan side this August 29, morning.
So far reports indicate that a woman was killed and her two-month old baby in a market in Rubavu town and other three people seriously injured and transferred to Kigali for treatment.
Apparently, Rubavu local leaders have sent on alert to residents warning them to be more careful and not to move in large or cross the borders.
This follows thirteen bombs and rockets fired by DRC forces since Wednesday, bringing the total of 34 bombs and rockets have been fired into Rwanda in the last month by DRC forces since 3rd November 2012. (Ref Chronology below).
Rwandans says that the DRC is trying to insult and trigger Rwanda into a war but Rwanda has repeatedly urged the Government of DRC to stop attacks on its territory but instead violations have increased in frequency and intensity.
Rwanda’ Minister for Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo said: “The persistent shelling of Rwandan territory is unacceptable, as it would be to any sovereign nation. Rwandan civilians are being targeted by DRC forces. We have remained restrained for as long as we can but this provocation can no longer be tolerated. We have the capacity to determine who fired at us and will not hesitate to defend our territory. Rwanda has a responsibility to protect its population.”
Inside sources also say that Rwanda is pondering on what next to do with the continued attacks and there could be a possibility of wagging war.
In chronological order, the FARDC and FDLR attacks since November 2012 are as follows:
- On 29 August one bomb landed in a marketplace in Bugangari neighbourhood in Rubavu town killing a woman, Vestine Mukagasana and seriously injuring her two-month old son. A second bomb landed near the grand barriere in Rubavu town injured one person and eight bombs landed at Busasamana village in Rubavu District.
- On 28 August 2013, at 11.45 am four 82 mm mortar bombs were fired at Rutagara village, targeting RDF defensive position causing damage and at 11.50 am, five 107mm rockets were fired at the villages of Kageyo and Kingogo also causing damage to property. Also between 17.30pm and 17.45pm, FADRC fired four rockets and bombs from the outskirts of Goma in Kanyarucinya, Nyiragongo territory occupied by FARDC and Monusco forces. The bombs and rockets landed in the villages of Gakomero, Kamivuba, Rutagara and at Mont Rubavu, overlooking Rubavu town in Rwanda.
- On 24 August 2013, five bombs landed in the villages of Hanika, Muti Bushengo, Bisizi and Kageyo in Rubavu District;
- On 23 August 2013, five 120mm mortar bombs landed in the villages of Kagezi, Bukumu, Kageyo, and Rusura in Rubavu District;
- On 22 August 2013, a 107mm rocket landed in Bugu village, Rubavu District;
- On 26 July 2013 two grenades exploded in Kigali killing three people, including a child, and injured fifty. The terror act was carried out by two FDLR operatives who were arrested while crossing back to DRC;
- On 15 July 2013, two bombs landed in the villages of Gisura and Ruhara, Rubavu District, fired from the outskirts of Goma in the general area of Kanyarucinya, a military position occupied by MONUSCO and FARDC. One of the bombs was identified as 100mm High Explosive Anti-Tank (Heat) fired by a T-54/T-55 Tank;
- In November 2012, FARDC fired a total of 15 bombs into villages on Rwandan territory;
- On 24 May 2013, FDLR fired on Rwanda territory in Bisoke along the border with DRC. The FDLR then withdrew back to DRC;
- On 2 December 2012, FDLR attacked Rwanda and killed an employee of Karisoke Research Centre in Kinigi, Musanze District;
- On 27 November 2012 the FDLR attacked Muti village, Rubavu district. The attack was conducted by two companies of FDLR estimated at 150 criminals. They wore FARDC uniforms, had DRC identification documents and used arms and ammunition provided by FARDC;
- On 3 November 2012 two FARDC and FDLR fighters conducted combined, armed reconnaissance at Busasamana, Rubavu District in Rwanda. Cpl Nzaza Nyabigoro, a suspected FDLR fighter embedded in 391 Recce Bn of FARDC was killed. His remains were handed over to the FARDC 8 Military Region Commander, Col Evariste Somo Kakule.