KAMPALA- There is intense fighting going on in the eastern DR Congo between the Rwandan Special Forces and armed groups opposed to Kigali government.
According to security sources in DR Congo, many Banyamulenge have been pushed by the fighting in South Kivu and there is a looming humanitarian catastrophe.
The Rwandan troops are said to be expanding their operations to Beni and Bunia.
The source says the Rwandan troops have been operating in DR Congo since March. There were also reports of hundreds of refugees fleeing the areas of Beni to Uganda because of the fighting between ethnic armed groups.
This is not the first time Rwandan forces have entered DRC. For instance in 2004, the forces entered after Paul Kagame had repeated warned that his forces would invade Congo to deal with rebel Hutu militias that the Kigali regime claims had begun cross-border attacks on Rwandan citizens.
In July 1997, Kagame while defence minister acknowledged for the first time his country’s key role in the overthrow of late DRC president Mobutu Sese Seko, stating the Rwandan government planned and directed the rebellion that toppled Mobutu and that Rwandan troops and officers led the rebel forces.
Rwandan forces at the time participated in the capture of at least four cities – Kinshasa, Lumbumbashi, Kenge and Kisangani, which fell on March 15 in what was considered the key battle of the war, Kagame said.
Between 1999-2000, Rwandan and Ugandan forces would fight inside the DRC, with each side saying had interested to protect. It later emerged individual military officers on either side benefited from the Kisangani clashes as they looted DRC’s natural resources like minerals and timber, among others.