RDF explains arrest of soldiers on DR Congo territory

Rwanda Defense Force Spokesperson Lt. Col Innocent Munyengango says the RDF soldiers were handed back to Rwandan authorities on Monday. (File)

The Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) Spokesperson Lt. Col Innocent Munyengango has downplayed the incident in which two Rwandan soldiers were on Monday arrested within about 10 metres inside the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Two RDF soldiers who had been held by the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) were handed back to Rwandan authorities on Monday, according to Munyengango.

According to Munyengango the soldiers were released after a subsequent probe established that they meant no harm and had simply crossed the borderline by mistake because they had just been deployed at the border.

“These are the new soldiers who were deployed along Rwanda-DRC border about two weeks ago. It is very possible that they were not familiar with the territory and so they mistakenly crossed into DRC,” Munyengango said.

“They were handed over back to us yesterday. They were about 10 meters into DRC through porous border which is not demarcated; they weren’t fighting or firing at anyone and that is why it was a smooth operation throughout.” he added.

After they were arrested by the Congolese army and were handed over to the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) to probe the circumstances under which they got arrested.

It is said that after EJVM – a multi-national force established under the auspices of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region – found no foul play on the part of the solders and they were subsequently handed back to Rwanda.

 

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