Rwanda Says Territory Shelled by Congo, Requests Probe

Rwanda said on Monday that it had requested a regional body to investigate shelling of its territory by the military of neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo and that the attack had injured several people and damaged property.

The alleged incident could further inflame relations between the two countries, which have long traded accusations about support for militant groups.

Congolese authorities could not be immediately reached for comment.

In a statement, Rwanda's Ministry of Defense said it had asked the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) to investigate an attack on its territory. The EJVM is a group of military experts from the region that monitors and investigates security incidents.

The attack targeted Musanze district in Rwanda's north, "injuring several civilians and damaging property," the ministry said.

"Those injured are receiving treatment and officials are assessing the extent of the damage. The RDF (Rwanda Defense Forces) has requested for urgent investigation by the regional EJVM, and Rwandan authorities are also engaging DRC counterparts over the incident," it added in the statement.

Tensions have been heightened since March, when Congo's M23 rebel group attacked two Congolese army positions near the borders with Uganda and Rwanda and advanced on nearby towns.

The group seized swaths of territory in eastern Congo during an insurrection in 2012 and 2013, before its fighters were driven out by Congolese and United Nations forces. They have since returned from neighboring countries to stage attacks.

Congo and U.N. investigators have previously accused Rwanda of supporting M23, but Kigali denies the accusations.

Source: Voice of America