Rwanda-DRC Tension heightened as Goma residents threaten to cross into Rwanda
Residents in the border city of Goma demonstrated in support of DR Congo’s military forces, the FARDC, on Wednesday, as tensions between the government and neighboring Rwanda remained high.
Residents on foot and on motorcycles threatened to cross into Rwanda to protest the “aggression” against the DRC. Congolese police halted the marchers at the border checkpoint and teargassed them. According to AFP, at least one person was hurt.
A local civil society organization organized the rally in North Kivu province’s main city a day after Kinshasa restated charges that Rwanda helped M23 rebels, which Rwanda rejects.
Banks, gas stations, schools, stores, and other businesses were shuttered in Goma, with just a few pharmacies operational.
The M23’s rise and brutality, which has been ambushing FARDC forces since November, has escalated since March. Foreign donors are said to be providing weaponry to the organization.
Several locations around the DRC have seen marches by Congolese civilians. Protesters screaming anti-Rwanda songs in Kinshasa were repeatedly dispersed with teargas as they demanded the expulsion of the Rwandan ambassador.