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Congolese Troops Crash with Civilians in Kiwandja

On Sunday May 29, 2011 violent riots erupted in Kiwandja town of Northern Kivu province of Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Groups of disgruntled civilians attacked FARDC and MONUC troops after two civilians were assassinated in what the FARDC commanders said was FDLR attack but the population said was an attack by Rwandan Defense Forces soldiers within the FARDC.

On Sunday morning rioters barricaded the  axis between Goma and  Butembo in Kiwandja,  stopping the movement of vehicles and people . The angry rioters then moved towards Rutshuru. Some threw stones at MONUC peacekeepers, accusing them of not providing adequate security. They also singled out FADRC troops sent in as reinforcement to fight off the attackers,  accusing them of being Rwandan soldiers.

The Congolese civil society weighted in, complaining of the militarization of the Rutshuru territory,  that is,  according, to the spokesperson, John Claude Babanze, at the root of the insecurity.

The situation remained tense as of Monday May 30, 2011 night.

Based on slogans from the rioters, most of the insecurity is allegedly caused by Rwandan soldiers within FARDC who attack civilians but disguise themselves as FDLR or RUD-Urunana soldiers. FDLR and RUD-Urunana are rwandan rebels based in Congolese jungles.

On Monday, a spokesperson of RUD-Urunana, Colonel Jean Michel Africa confirmed the allegations of the congolese rioters and civil society. He said most of the insecurity is caused by Rwandan soldiers who deserted FDLR and RUD-Urunana and joined the Rwandan Defense forces before being sent back to the DRC.


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