DR Congo to free detained Rwandan soldiers - Angolan leader

Rwandan armed forces. FILE PHOTO | AFP

The Democratic Republic of Congo has agreed to release two Rwandan soldiers detained amid soaring tensions between the two neighbours, Angolan President Joao Lourenco announced Tuesday.

The announcement came after Lourenco held talks with DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi earlier on Tuesday.

"At the request of his Angolan counterpart, (Tshisekedi) agreed to release two Rwandan soldiers recently captured on DRC territory," Lourenco's office said.

"This step is intended to help reduce the tension in the relationship between the two countries," it added.

Lourenco later held a videoconference conversation with Rwandan leader Paul Kagame, Luanda said.

Following the separate interactions with Lourenco, the Rwandan and DRC leaders reached "an understanding" to meet face-to-face in Luanda, at a date to be announced.

A diplomatic feud between Kigali and Kinshasa has escalated in recent days with both sides trading accusations of aiding armed militias in the volatile eastern DRC region which borders Rwanda.

Rwanda last week accused the Congolese armed forces of firing rockets into its territory, and said two of its soldiers had been kidnapped on patrol by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel group active in eastern DRC.

The Congolese army in turn said Sunday that the two soldiers had trespassed on its soil and had been taken into custody.