The Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) has questioned the authenticity of a document purporting to be a report by the ICGLR Extended Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) on a recent cross-border incident that left five Congolese soldiers dead.
The soldiers were part of two platoons that had made incursions into Rwandan territory but were intercepted by RDF manning the border and a firefight soon followed.
A statement released yesterday by the RDF said EJVM reports are supposed to be signed by all parties after meticulous factual and methodological investigations are carried out, which the “leak” did not follow.
“Following the cross border incident between Congolese Army (FARDC) and Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) on June 11, 2014, Rwanda officially requested the EJVM to investigate and report on the incident,” reads the statement in part.
“However, the RDF was shocked to read the content of a leaked copy of an alleged EJVM report in the media. The reference to the leaked document as an “EJVM report” is in itself misleading. EJVM reports are documents signed by all members and submitted to the ICGLR’s Defence Committee.”
The leaked document had alleged that basing on Google Earth, the area where the skirmishes took place was on DR Congo territory, which the RDF flatly refuted saying the report based its findings on erroneous coordinates.
Rwanda insists that there is no border dispute with the DR Congo and that had been the case, it would have been handled by “the African Union Border Programme, which handles those matters on the basis of legitimate reference documents.”
“Choosing to solely rely on Google Earth instead of plotting the coordinates on the actual topographical map, the EJVM would have made a blatant and deeply misleading mistake...
“As a matter of fact, uncontested coordinates of Kanyesheja I & II, when plotted on the topographical map, indicates clearly that Kanyesheja II hill is on the Rwandan territory,” the RDF said.
According to residents of Busasamana Sector, they have been victims previous attacks by the Congolese army who cross over to rustle cows for food, and in some rare cases, ask for ransom from the owners.