Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi on Friday accused Rwanda of trying to occupy his country’s land for its vast mineral wealth, hours after Rwanda said a Congolese soldier had crossed the border and begun shooting at Rwandan security forces and civilians before being shot dead.
Congo’s president has also called on international leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to step up the pressure on Rwanda when it hosts the Commonwealth summit this week.
Each side has accused the other of incursions. Congo now seeks to suspend all agreements with Rwanda. Rwanda’s state minister for foreign affairs in charge of East African matters, Manasseh Nshuti, has said dialogue “is the solution” to the issues.
Dynamics in eastern Congo “were already strained” by Congo and neighboring Uganda carrying out a joint operation there against another rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces, according to a new report by the U.N. panel of experts on Congo. Both Uganda and Rwanda have long been accused of backing rebels and pursuing some of the region’s rich mineral wealth, including gold.
Associated Press writer Ignatius Ssuuna in Kigali, Rwanda, contributed.