KINSHASA (Reuters) - Rwandan troops crossed into eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and wounded a local soldier, the Congolese government said on Wednesday, drawing an immediate denial from a Rwandan official.
Government spokesman Lambert Mende said Congolese troops fired warning shots at Rwandan troops who entered Rutshuru territory in Congo’s eastern province of North Kivu.
“The Rwandans responded by wounding one of our troops,” he said.
North Kivu governor Julien Paluku also said Rwandan troops had crossed the border on Wednesday afternoon. He added that a team from the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region was being deployed to investigate the incident.
Rwanda’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations Olivier Nduhungirehe said on his Twitter feed in response to the alleged incursion, “This is baloney, as usual.”
Congo’s army has been conducting military operations since February against the Rwandan Hutu rebel group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). The group’s presence on Congolese soil has in the past served as a pretext for a series of Rwandan border interventions.
Reporting by Aaron Ross; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Toni Reinhold