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Rwanda’s military said Monday that shelling of the country’s northern territory by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) had injured several civilians and damaged property. 

The attack targeted sectors of Musanze district between 09.59 a.m. and 10.20 a.m. local time, said a statement by the Rwanda Defense Force (RDF).

“Those injured are receiving treatment and officials are assessing the extent of the damage,” said Col. Ronald Rwivanga, the spokesman for the RDF.

A woman who was returning home from her garden was reportedly among the injured.

The Rwandan army said it had asked the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM), a regional military framework for 12 countries in the Great Lakes region, to conduct an “urgent investigation” into the shelling.

“Rwandan authorities are also engaging their DR Congo counterparts over the incident,” Rwivanga said, adding the situation is normal and security is assured in the area.

There was no immediate comment from DR Congo on the reports.

But fighting recently erupted on several hills in Rutshuru territory in the DR Congo’s North Kivu province between government forces and rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23).

On Sunday, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) accused M23 of attacking its base on one of the hills in Rutshuru, prompting the UN force to join the FARDC in an offensive against the rebels.

On Monday, local media reported that the clashes had reached the border area between the DR Congo and Rwanda.

In 2014, Rwanda accused the Congolese army of firing a rocket on its territory in the western Rwanda border district of Rubavu.

Also, in 2013, Rwanda accused the FARDC of firing over 60 projectiles on Rwandan territory, killing and injuring civilians. - James Tasamba, Anadolu Agency

 

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today announced that he will travel to Rwanda, Kenya and South Sudan.

During Minister Sajjan’s time in Africa, he will meet with regional representatives to discuss everything from peace and security to women in politics to education. He will also visit international, Canadian and local partners who are on the front lines of providing humanitarian support to refugees and internally displaced persons and working to improve health care, nutrition and food security across Eastern Africa. As the impacts of disruptions on global food systems and the effects of climate change are felt more strongly by the most vulnerable people, including those already facing humanitarian crises, Canada continues to support humanitarian partners to help meet emergency food and nutrition needs while also working with development partners to address long-term challenges and strengthen local resilience.

All public health rules and guidelines related to COVID-19 will be followed before, during and after the trip

Quotes

“As the world grapples with rising food and fuel costs, humanitarian needs and the importance of food security continue to rise as well. I look forward to learning more about the countries in this region, their successes and the unique hurdles they face to see how we can come together to create sustainable solutions.”   

- Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

 - Global Affairs Canada

 

A new report by the UN migration agency warns that the number of migrants dying in the East and Horn of Africa (EHoA) region has increased this year compared to 2020. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said many deaths and disappearances occurred along the eastern migratory route in the Horn of Africa.

From the Horn, migrants move to Gulf nations where primarily young migrants, mainly men and young boys, but also increasingly women and even children, leave countries like Somalia and Ethiopia, traveling to Djibouti crossing the Gulf of Aden, to reach Yemen with their destination being Saudi Arabia.

IOM spokeswoman for East and Horn of Africa, Yvonne Ndege, told Anadolu Agency that “109 migrants, 17 of whom were children, lost their lives or disappeared on this very route last year, that's up from 59 in 2020.”

In 2019, the number of dead and disappeared was worse with 135 migrants dying or unaccounted for.

The report notes that the most frequent causes of deaths and disappearances during migration in 2021 “were drowning (64) and harsh environmental conditions (5) particularly the high temperatures that all too frequently result in exhaustion and dehydration.”

Of the 674,243 individuals on the move recorded by IOM in EHoA in 2021, more than 269,000, or 40%, were along the eastern route. The 2021 figures represent a 70% increase from 2020 when 157,000 migrants were tracked on the Eastern Corridor.

On the southern route heading from the Horn to South Africa, IOM recorded nearly 59,000 movements in 2021, predominantly by Ethiopian nationals.

The report urged support from donors to tackle the issue, Ndege told Anadolu Agency.

“The IOM is seeking funding and donor support to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of those who are on the eastern route, and to, of course, try to address the root causes of what is prompting many young people in the eastern Horn of Africa region to make this dangerous journey in which as the report finds many end up disappeared or missing.”

In March 2021, smugglers threw an estimated 80 passengers overboard from an overfilled boat carrying up to 200 people, resulting in at least 20 deaths and an unknown number of disappearances in the Gulf of Aden.

The next month, 44 people drowned, including 16 children, when a returning boat capsized in the Gulf off the coast of Djibouti.

And in June 2021, a boat carrying up to 200 passengers capsized in the Bab-al- Mandab straight near Ras al-Ara, Yemen, resulting in 25 deaths and up to 175 people who were lost at sea. - Andrew Wasike, Anadolu Agency

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