Capturing of aircraft an ‘act of battle’
DR Congo has declared Rwanda’s capturing of one in every of its fighter jets an “act of battle”, amid mounting tensions.
Rwanda’s authorities mentioned it took “defensive measures” towards a aircraft that had violated its airspace – a declare denied by DR Congo.
It is a main escalation following months of battle in japanese DR Congo, which has compelled some 400,000 folks to flee their houses.
DR Congo, the US and UN specialists accuse Rwanda of backing the M23 insurgent group.
Rwanda has denied this and blames the Congolese authorities for the battle.
Within the Nineties, Rwanda twice despatched troops into its a lot bigger neighbour, sparking an enormous battle involving at the very least 9 international locations that led to the dying of hundreds of thousands of individuals.
A number of East African international locations have despatched troops to DR Congo to assist battle the M23 rebels, whereas additionally making an attempt to hunt a diplomatic answer to the disaster.
Pictures shared on social media, which haven’t but been verified by the BBC, present a Sukhoi-25 plane being shot at whereas flying at a low altitude between the cities of Goma in DR Congo and Gisenyi in Rwanda, which straddle their widespread border.
Different photographs present water getting used to place out a fireplace on the aircraft’s proper wing after it landed at Goma airport. DR Congo says the aircraft suffered no “main materials injury”.
In a press release DR Congo’s authorities accused Rwanda of “sabotaging” the implementation of a current peace settlement between the 2 international locations.
The Info Ministry went on to say that DR Congo “reserves the fitting to defend its nationwide territory and won’t be threatened”.
“The federal government considers this umpteenth assault by Rwanda as a deliberate motion”, the ministry mentioned.
Nevertheless, Rwanda mentioned this was the third incident involving a Congolese fighter jet on its airspace and requested its neighbour “to cease this aggression”.
Final November, one other Congolese Sukhoi-25 jet briefly landed at Gisenyi airport in Rwanda. Kinshasa mentioned the fighter jet had “mistakenly landed” there.
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