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Rwandan President Paul Kagame held phone conversations Monday with his Congolese counterpart Felix Tshisekedi along with African Union chairman Macky Sall aimed at easing tensions between Kigali and Kinshasa. 

The talks came on the back of days of tensions over allegations that Rwanda is backing M23 rebels of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in renewed fighting in eastern North Kivu province.

Rwanda has denied the allegations.

“I thank Presidents Felix Tshisekedi and Paul Kagame for our telephone talks yesterday and today [Monday] in the quest for a peaceful solution to the dispute between the DRC and Rwanda,” Sall, who is also Senegal's president, said in a tweet.

Sall also confirmed that further discussions will take place within the framework of the regional International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.

Over the past few days, raging fighting between the DR Congo army and M23 rebels in North Kivu displaced more than 72,000 people, according to the UN refugee agency.

Sall has called for “calm and dialogue” between Rwanda and DR Congo.

Last Saturday, DR Congo suspended flights by Rwanda’s national carrier RwandAir to the country amid the escalating tensions.

The Rwandan army said two of its soldiers were recently kidnapped while on patrol and accused DR Congo armed forces of shelling in the border district.

But the DR Congo army claimed the soldiers were captured in a botched attack on its military detachment in the east. - James Tasamba, Anadolu Agency

 

JUBA – South Sudan has lauded China, Russia, India, Gabon, and Kenya for abstaining from voting against the U.S draft resolution on renewing the arms embargo and sanctions on Africa’s youngest nation.

On 26 May, UN Security Council adopted a resolution to renew for a year, till May 31, 2023, an arms embargo against South Sudan as well as targeted sanctions of the travel ban and asset freeze against individuals and entities.

It was renewed by a narrow margin that saw the approval of 10 out of 15 council members with China, Russia, India, Gabon, and Kenya abstaining from voting on the US-drafted resolution

The UN Security Council renewed the arms embargo despite South Sudan repeatedly calling for the arms embargo to be lifted.

Speaking to reporters after regular cabinet meeting in Juba on Friday, Michael Makuei Lueth, Information Minister, appreciated five countries for expressing opposition to the arms embargo.

“We really appreciated the position of China, Russia, India, Gabon, and Kenya for standing with the government and people of South Sudan against unfair resolutions,” Makuei said.

Makuei described the renewal of arms embargo on South Sudan as “unfair resolutions”.

“We appreciate their stand and call upon members of the UN Security Council not to listen to individuals’ reports that are presented without substrate,” Makuei said. - Sudans Post

 

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

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