Rebels from the M23 group in DR Congo seized the border town of Bunagana, according to local activists. The Congolese army accused Rwanda of launching an invasion.
M23 rebels in DR Congo (DRC) have seized the eastern border town of Bunagana on Monday, the militia members and local activists said.
In a statement, the rebels appealed to DRC President Felix Tshisekedi to “seize this opportunity to put an end to the violence caused by this useless war and to open direct negotiations with our movement.”
But the Congolese army said the town had been taken by Rwanda because the rebels, allegedly supported by Rwanda, were suffering “enormous setbacks.”
DR Congo has repeatedly accused Rwanda of backing the M23, whose leadership hails from the same Tutsi ethnic group as Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
“The Rwandan defense forces have this time decided to violate … our territorial integrity by occupying the border town of Bunagana,” the military said in a statement, describing the incident as “no less than invasion of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
Rwanda has not yet made any comments on the development, and has denied playing a role in any such recent attacks. Congo’s government had broken off negotiations with the M23 in April this year.
DRC soldiers, civilians flee to Uganda
Local activist said the Congolese army “has just given way” and was moving into Uganda, which borders both DRC and Rwanda.