Fighting resumes on Rwanda-DRC border

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Fighting has resumed on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) one day after heavy clashes in the region left five Congolese soldiers dead.

According to reports, gunfire broke out on Thursday for a second day on the border between the two African countries.

The new skirmish came a day after five Congolese soldiers died in heavy cross-border fighting with Rwandan troops.

The two sides blame each other for the outbreak of the violence. Congolese military officials said gunfire broke out after one of their troops was abducted and killed by the Rwandan troops. Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende said that elements from the Rwandan army crossed the border and took a Congolese corporal, which provoked a reaction from Congolese troops.

Kigali, however, said violence erupted after Congolese soldiers crossed into its territory and opened fire on the Rwandan forces.

Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister and government spokesperson Louise Mushikiwabo said such actions jeopardize “efforts to ensure peace, stability and development for all our citizens.”

The neighbors have been at odds since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, during which some 800,000 people were slaughtered by ethnic Hutu rebels.

Rwanda has repetitively intervened in the Congo, saying it sought to capture the Hutu militia who fled across the border and set up a militia in the eastern Congo.

The two countries have fought two wars over the past two decades in mineral-rich east of the Congo.

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