On April 22, Reuters reported that the Congolese government is accusing Rwandan troops of crossing into the Democratic Republic of the Congo and wounding a local soldier. Congo spokesman Lambert Mende said, “Congolese troops fired warning shots at Rwandan troops who entered Rutshuru territory in Congo’s eastern province of North Kivu,” and that Rwandan troops responded by firing and wounding a Congolese soldier.
North Kivu Gov. Julien Paluku told Vice News that the Rwandan troops had crossed the border and headed into the Virunga National Park, an oil rich world heritage site protected by park rangers and the Congolese army. Paluku speculated that the Rwandan troops might have intended to distract attention from infiltration by a new incarnation of the Rwandan- and Ugandan-backed militia most recently known as M23.
The Voice of America reportedthat armed men in Ugandan uniforms have also crossed the Ugandan border into DR Congo.
In themselves, these news reports seem low on the scale of violence in the world today. However, they rise to the top if understood as a continuation of Rwanda and Uganda’s cross border wars of aggression that have left millions of my countrymen dead over nearly 20 years. In 1996, Rwandan and Ugandan troops invaded the Democratic Republic of the Congo, starting the First Congo War (1996-1997), then the Second Congo War (1998-2003) and then the ongoing “Congo conflict” waged by proxy militias supported and commanded by Rwanda and Uganda.