Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Sergeant Major Andre Kusakana Munanga, service number 1-72-88-93460-89, was arrested in the border town of Rubavu “involved in suspicious activities.”
“He trespassed and was arrested. Keeping him here wasn’t in our interest, we handed him to the EJVM as a gesture of goodwill and good relations with our neighbours,” Brig. Gen. Joseph Nzabamwita, the Defence and Military spokesperson, told The New Times yesterday.
The EJVM is a regional military experts’ group tasked to monitor security along DRC’s frontier with its eastern neighbours, including Rwanda.
Following the arrest of Munanga, military experts were dispatched by the EJVM, a body that comprises 24 officers from 12 member states of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), at Rwanda’s request, to investigate the case.
The inquiry team that visited Rubavu where the Congolese soldier was arrested comprised 13 senior military officers from the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.
The team was led by EJVM deputy coordinator, Col. Leon Mahoungou, from Congo-Brazzaville.
The officers interrogated Sgt-Maj. Munanga and spoke to several people on either side of the border.
“Rwanda handed the soldier over to us and in turn we handed him over to FARDC (Congolese army). By the time we handed him to DRC, he was in good health; he was well treated by the Rwandan authorities and he also confirmed it,” said Mahoungou.
At the time he was arrested by Rwandan security, at around 1:20p.m on Sunday, the FARDC soldier was reportedly armed and dressed in full military fatigue.