24 Jan. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Government of Rwanda has denounced a new “aggression” by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after one of its combat aircraft violated its airspace amid the upsurge in bilateral tensions over fighting between the Congolese Army and the group rebel March 23 Movement (M23).
“Today at 5:03 p.m. (local time), a Sukhoi-25 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo violated Rwandan airspace for the third time. Defensive measures have been taken. Rwanda calls on the DRC to stop this aggression,” he said in a statement. brief statement by the Rwandan government.
The brief statement comes after images of a low-flying fighter plane circulating on social media and later landing at Goma airport, near the border, on fire, reported The New Times.
The Minister of Communication and spokesman for the Congolese Government, Patrick Muyaya, acknowledged that two Congolese planes carried out routine flights on December 28. Kigali, for its part, denounced that this was part of the “numerous provocations by the DRC government towards Rwanda”, which also included another similar violation on November 7.
In this case, Kinshasa acknowledged the incident and apologized, although Kigali emphasized in its statement that “these repeated violations go against the spirit of the peace initiatives in Luanda and Nairobi”, aimed at ending the conflict between the Army Congolese and the M23.
The violation denounced by Kigali coincides with the new clashes between the DRC Army and the rebel group M23 in the surroundings of the town of Kitshanga, in the province of North Kivu (east).
The DRC authorities last week accused the M23 of not fulfilling its withdrawal commitments in the east of the country, while the group denounced attacks by the Army and warned that “it will not remain idle.” He also stressed that the Luanda conclusions on the Government “must also be applied”
Rwanda, accused by the DRC of supporting the M23 in the context of the conflict -which has caused a serious bilateral diplomatic crisis-, also accused Kinshasa of carrying out “a selective reading” of the statement published after the mini-summit in Luanda and warned of that “can only be seen as a threat of imminent attacks against Rwanda”.