February 1, 2023

DRC denies fighter jet violated Rwandan airspace; accuses Rwanda of “act of war”

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Tuesday condemned Rwanda’s accusation that a Congolese fighter jet had violated Rwandan airspace, alleging that the plane was “deliberately shot down” by Rwandan forces. “Attacked in an act of aggression” which is tantamount to war.

The Rwandan Government Communications Office has issued a Statement on Twitter on Tuesday which said: “Today at 5:03pm, a DR Congo Sukhoi-25 violated Rwandan airspace for the third time. Defensive measures taken. Rwanda rejects this aggression from DRC.” Asks to stop.

The Congolese government later issued one. Statement Disputing Kigali’s version of events, the allegation was that the jet was “attacked when it was starting to land on the runway of Goma International Airport.”

“The Rwandan fire was directed at a Congolese aircraft, which was flying within Congolese territory. It did not fly into Rwandan airspace. The aircraft landed without any major material damage.

It went on to say that “the government considers this protracted offensive by Rwanda an act of deliberate aggression amounting to an act of war” with the sole purpose of sabotaging ongoing efforts to restore peace in eastern DRC. is, where there is a rebel rebellion. A rift in the relationship between the two countries.

CNN cannot independently verify any version of events.

A video widely shared on Congolese social media showed a projectile being fired at a plane, which continued to fly, before exploding in the air near the plane. CNN could not immediately confirm the video.

Rwanda has been accused by the Congolese government, the United Nations and Western allies of supporting the notoriously armed M23 rebel group in its violent insurgency in eastern DRC, which Kigali denies.

Regional leaders brokered a deal in November that required the Tutsi-led group to withdraw from recently seized positions by January 15 as part of efforts to end fighting that has left at least At least 450,000 people have been displaced.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi said last week that the rebels had not completely retreated from these areas.

In December, Rwanda said Another Congolese fighter jet briefly violated its airspace.

An unarmed Congolese warplane also landed at a Rwandan airport on a reconnaissance mission near the border in November, in what Congo said was an accident.

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