Rwanda says soldier kidnapped by rebels in DRC | High resolution stock photo | CLIPARTO NEWS

Two soldiers captured by FDLR rebels accused Kinshasa of supporting armed groups, Kigali said.

Rwanda said on Saturday that two soldiers had been captured by rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with Rwandan government authorities backing the group responsible.

Earlier, the Democratic Republic of Congo summoned the Rwandan ambassador and suspended flights from the country after accusing its neighbor of supporting Rwanda M23 Rebel groups are active in its eastern region.

The Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) said two of its troops were kidnapped while on patrol and held in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo by rebels organized by the Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

“We call on the DRC authorities to work closely with these genocidal armed groups to secure the release of RDF soldiers,” the RDF said in a statement.

The two soldiers were named by the RDF as Corporal Nkundabagenzi Elysee and Private Ntwari Gad.

The FARDC said the kidnappings followed an attack on the border by Congolese troops and FDLR insurgents earlier this week.

Rwanda has called for an investigation after accusing Congolese armed forces of firing rockets into its territory.

This week, the Congolese army and the M23 movement erupted on multiple fronts in North Kivu, a conflict-torn province in eastern Congo bordering Rwanda.

“Conservative measures”

The United Nations said on Friday that the conflict caused displaced 72,000, warning those on the run face violence and looting of their homes.

The Democratic Republic of Congo said that the M23 movement – a predominantly Congolese Tutsi group, one of more than 120 armed groups roaming eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo – has Rwanda’s support.

Kigali denies involvement.

Kinshasa said late Friday it would take “conservative measures” against Rwanda, including summoning the ambassador and blocking flights from the country’s airlines.

Rwanda Air responded on Saturday by canceling “immediately” all flights to Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Goma.

Relations between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda have been strained since the mass arrival of Hutu in Rwanda during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 was accused of massacres of Tutsis.

Kinshasa has often accused Rwanda of invading its territory and supporting armed groups there.

Relations between the two countries began to thaw after President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo took office in 2019, but the recent resurgence of violence on the M23 has rekindled tensions.

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