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Rwanda trashes report on DR Congo border clashes

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Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers stand guard atop  Kanyesheza hill, on June 15, 2014, near the border with Rwanda. For DRC soldiers the Kanyesheza hill is considered to be firmly inside their country, however Rwandan soldiers are present nearby along the hill. AFP PHOTO / JUNIOR D.KANNAH

Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers stand guard atop Kanyesheza hill, on June 15, 2014, near the border with Rwanda. For DRC soldiers the Kanyesheza hill is considered to be firmly inside their country, however Rwandan soldiers are present nearby along the hill. AFP PHOTO / JUNIOR D.KANNAH 

By Special Correspondent The EastAfrican

Posted  Wednesday, June 25   2014 at  14:42

Rwanda has protested the alleged findings of a probe into recent border clashes with Democratic Republic of Congo which seem to pin the Rwandan army on provoking the incident.

Kigali had requested the Extended Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM), which was set up by International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGRL) member states, to carry out investigations following the border skirmishes between the two countries a fortnight ago that left five Congolese soldiers dead.

In a statement released Tuesday, RDF said it was ‘shocked’ to read the content of a leaked copy.

In a carefully worded response, RDF said it does not considered the leaked document as an EJVM report.

“The reference to the leaked document as an 'EJVM report' is in itself misleading. EJVM reports are documents signed by all members and submitted to the ICGLR’s Defence Committee.

“Such is not the case for the document being currently circulated in the media,” the RDF said in a statement seemingly referring to Rwanda’s refusal to sign the document.

“The leaked document is factually and methodologically wrong on several counts. For example, Google Earth cannot constitute a credible reference for border demarcations.”

RDF further says in an apparent reference to the observation made by Uganda’s representative on the EJVM.

Both Rwanda and Uganda say a Google Earth map is not a fitting reference.

“As a matter of fact, uncontested coordinates of Kanyesheja I & II, when plotted on the topographical map, indicates clearly that Kanyesheja II hill is on Rwandan territory.”

“Choosing to solely rely on Google Earth instead of plotting the coordinates on the actual topographical map, the EJVM would have made a blatant and deeply misleading mistake,” Rwanda says.

RDF also condemned the leaking of the report as a violation of efforts to address the security concerns of member States and promoting confidence building.