Assassination of FARDC Officer Raises Tensions Amidst Ongoing Unrest in Eastern Congo

The Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) have reported the death of one of their soldiers who was assassinated in Goma this week, and an investigation has been initiated to determine the circumstances of his death.

In the statement, Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Ndjike Kaiko Guillaume, the military spokesperson in the North Kivu province, stated that Captain (Capt) Rutasura Gasore Patrick was shot on the night of the 9th of November and succumbed to his injuries on the 10th.

There are fears that this incident may be linked to ongoing tensions, although the official announcement did not specify the motive behind the killing.

Footage shown on mainstream media, including BBC Gahuzamiryango, which cannot be independently verified, suggests that the deceased soldier was found on a busy street, wounded and bleeding. He was reportedly beaten and left lying in the street, and the video indicates severe head injuries.

In the audio accompanying the video, in different languages, there is a voice asking the fallen soldier in French if he is “Rwandan,” to which he responds in another language not in French, and then the voice says, “Okay.”

Lt Col Ndjike mentioned that according to the Governor’s decree of North Kivu, Major General Cirimwami Nkuba Peter, “the investigations have begun to ensure justice is served for this fallen soldier.”

The official announcement implies that two suspects have been arrested and are currently in custody awaiting trial.

There have been reports suggesting that the slain soldier was targeted due to his ethnic background as a Tutsi, and other sources claim that he was suspected of being associated with the M23 rebels destabilizing the eastern part of the country. These claims are not independently verified.

Ongoing clashes between the M23 rebels and FARDC have escalated since October, with sporadic confrontations, and this incident adds to the complexities of the situation in the region.