The military of the Democratic Republic of the Congo claims to have dismissed Rwandan officers assigned to the Goma-based East African Community Regional Force’s headquarters.
According to the military, the Rwandan troops were kicked out of the force “for security reasons” and “have already left Congolese country.”
The regional force is made up of soldiers from various East African nations that have joined the Congolese army in fighting rebel groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo with the assistance of UN forces.
The Rwandan government has refuted the Congolese army’s assertion that it has called back all of its officers from the DR Congo as a result of this.
“It is not Rwanda that has recalled the officers. It is DRC that has expelled them,” Rwanda’s army spokesperson Brig Gen Ronald Rwivanga told the newsmen on Tuesday.
Rwandan soldiers were not a part of the regional force that was sent to the mineral-rich North Kivu province last year, according to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
However, it permitted a security verification team and a few Rwandan officers to be a member of the force’s command.
Following Rwanda’s firing on a Congolese fighter jet close to Goma airport last week, tensions between Kigali and Kinshasa grew worse.
Kigali has always denied helping the M23 rebels, despite accusations from Kinshasa to that effect.
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