DR Congo cries ‘act of war’ after Rwanda shoots at fighter jet

Kinshasa, Jan 25 (EFE).- The Rwandan military has shot at a fighter jet of the Democratic Republic of Congo for allegedly violating the defense airspace, sparking diplomatic tensions with Kinshasa calling it an “act of war.”

In a statement, the DRC government denied the military aircraft violated the airspace as it was flying in the Congolese territory near the international airport of Goma city.

However, the plane landed without major damage.

The statement said the Congolese government considered it “a deliberate act of aggression that equals an act of war” that could sabotage regional peace.

The Rwandan government said on Tuesday that it took a defensive measure against a Congolese Army aircraft for allegedly violating Rwandan airspace.

The DRC government also accused the Rwandan Army of attacking Congolese military posts near the town of Kitchanga, in the eastern Congolese province of North Kivu, on Tuesday morning.

“Meanwhile, columns of Rwandan Army soldiers are seen coming from Rwanda to reinforce the positions of Kibumba and Bwito in anticipation of other criminal actions,” the statement said.

The allegations and counter-allegations come amid a sharp escalation of tensions between the two countries over Rwanda’s alleged collaboration with the March 23 Movement (M23) rebel group, which is fighting on Congolese soil.

Rwanda has always denied that allegation, even as two UN reports confirmed the collaboration.

Rwanda and the M23 accuse the Congolese Army of allying with the rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), founded in 2000 by leaders of the 1994 genocide and other Rwandans exiled in the DRC to regain political power in their country.

The UN also confirmed it.

M23 insurgents have occupied large areas and strategic locations in the DRC (including Kibumba and Bwito) since heavy fighting resumed last March after several years of lull.

According to the UN, the fighting has forced more than half a million people out of their homes.

The M23 was created in 2012 as a splinter group of the defunct National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP). EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button