Rwanda targets Congolese fighter jet, accused of flying over its airspace

A Sukhoi Su-25K fighter plane (Illustrative image).

© Wikimedia Commons CC BY SA 3.0 Krasimir Grozev

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

The DRC has denied these accusations.

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With our correspondent in Kigali,

Lucie Mouillaud,

and our correspondent in Kinshasa,

Patient Ligodi

New tensions on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Yesterday, Rwanda again accused one of the Congolese Sukhoi-25 attack planes of violating its airspace, leading to a military response.

It was just after 5 p.m. on Tuesday that a Congolese army attack plane, according to the Rwandan government, violated its airspace in the Rubavu district, bordering the city of Goma.

The videos are impressive.

We see a Sukhoi-25, which was already beginning its descent on Goma, brushing against the worst, narrowly escaping what appears to be a ground-to-air shot.

The plane was able to land a few moments later on the runway of the capital of North Kivu.

Immediately on the tarmac, he was quickly taken care of by a fire-fighting device.

Minutes later, the Rwandan government issued a statement accusing the Congolese aircraft of violating its airspace.

Without further details, Kigali says it has taken defensive measures following what it describes as a " 

third act of its kind

 " since the beginning of the month.

The Rwandan authorities conclude their press release by asking Kinshasa to “ 

stop this aggression

 ”.

For its part, Kinshasa rejects all accusations of overflight of Rwandan airspace.

The Congolese government speaks of “ 

an umpteenth attack by Rwanda and a deliberate act of aggression which amounts to an act of war

 ”. 

Rwanda had already,

in November

and last December, twice accused the Congolese authorities of having violated its airspace, denouncing acts of provocation, without leading a military response.

On land between the two countries, the situation was already tense at the start of the day.

On at least two front lines, shots were heard.

The FARDC accuse the Rwandan soldiers of supporting M23 fighters, particularly near Kitchanga, in Masisi territory.

The Congolese government also stresses " 

the need and urgency to maintain pressure on Rwanda and the M23

 " given that "

 this violence could jeopardize the electoral operations for the elections scheduled for this year

 ".

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