UN calls for calm over DRC, Rwanda row

Head of the UN Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo, Martin Kobler, has called for calm after Wednesday’s border fight between Congolese and Rwandan soldiers.

UN Spokesman Farhan Haq on Friday in New York said Kobler was in contact with the Congolese and Rwandan authorities to help defuse the situation, in which both sides were blaming each other for.
He said efforts were underway to encourage the DRC and Rwanda to remain engaged in the implementation of the Peace and Security Cooperation Framework and continue furthering good neighbourly relations, which had improved recently.

Haq said Rwandan and Congolese troops clashed along their border for the second day on Thursday, as long-running tensions threatened to escalate toward a full-scale war.
He added that troops exchanged heavy artillery and mortars along the border north of the DRC’s mineral-trading city of Goma.

The UN spokesman said that the skirmishes, which erupted on Wednesday, ended months of relative calm along the tense border, more than six months after UN troops helped the Congolese army defeat the M23 rebels.

He said five Congolese soldiers were reportedly killed in clashes on Wednesday between the Congolese and the Rwandan army, and one Rwandan civilian was injured.
“Both the DRC and Rwanda have asked the Joint Verification Mechanism to investigate the incident,” he said.
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