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U.S. Department Of State
96/09/25  Statement:  Violence Along the Rwanda Border
Office of the Spokesman

September 25, 1996

Press Statement by Glyn Davies, Acting Spokesman

               RWANDA:  Violence Along the Border

The United States deplores the recent exchange of fire
between Zairian and Rwandan armed forces along their common
border near Bukavu, Zaire.  Such actions only tend to inflame
the already-tense situation in the Great Lakes region of
Africa.  We call upon both parties to defuse the situation and
build on their recent cooperation, which has been evidenced by
high-level Zairian visits to Kigali, joint participation in the
Carter Center summit process, and partnership in the Arusha
series of meetings regarding Burundi.  

The United States also condemns the persecution of the
Banyamulenge, who live in the area around Bukavu.  The
Banyamulenge are long-term residents of Zaire, many of them
born there, who are of Rwandan ethnic origin.  They, Zairian
armed forces and recent arrivals from Rwanda have been involved
in armed clashes.  We will continue to work with Zaire, Rwanda
and the international community towards the voluntary
repatriation of recent refugees from Rwanda.
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