Rwanda-DRC: DRC rejects allegations that its plane violated the Rwandan airspace (press release)

Rwanda-DRC: DRC rejects allegations that its plane violated the Rwandan airspace (press release)

On Wednesday, the Rwandan government announced that its airspace was violated by a DRC fighter jet, calling the incident “provocations” that go against the Luanda and Nairobi agreements. Without delay, the DRC reacted by denying the allegations and indicated that “our fighter planes only flew over Lake Kivu and they were not armed”. It was in a press release issued on Thursday. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

It is the spokesperson for the Congolese government, at the same time communication minister, who reacted to Rwanda’s accusations.

“After several days of parking two of our Sukhoi planes, they carried out routine flights on Wednesday. However, they followed a routing that was previously defined between Lake Kivu and the Congolese airspace. In addition, the two planes were unarmed and therefore did not carry out bombardments”, said Patrick Muyaya.

On Wednesday, the Rwandan government reported that a Congolese fighter jet violated the Rwandan airspace.

Relations continue to deteriorate between both countries of the Great Lakes of Africa following the crisis which prevails in the east of the vast country of Central Africa where the M23, an armed group composed of Congolese Tutsis continues to gain ground, with President Félix Tshisekedi himself accusing Rwanda of supporting this group.

But last Friday, the M23 ceded part of its posts to the EAC regional force. These are posts installed in the locality of Kibumba, in the territory of Nyiragongo in the province of North Kivu (eastern DRC).

The rebel group has announced that it wants to “prove our desire to contribute to the return to lasting peace”. This comes after the mini summit in Luanda (Angola) and the third round of talks in Nairobi (Kenya) on the resolution of the crisis in eastern Congo. The M23 however indicated that it “reserves the right to intervene if innocent populations are killed”.

Recently, several international organizations, countries and UN experts have supported the accusations of Congolese authorities against Rwanda, which the Rwandan government continues to deny.

For its part, Rwanda accuses the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) of collaborating with FDLR genocidaires in order to destabilize its territory.

The M23, a former Tutsi rebellion which took up arms again at the end of 2021, criticizes Congolese authorities for not having respected its commitments on the reintegration of its fighters.

On the ground, tens of thousands of civilians have fled their locality to find shelter in areas deemed more secure or even in Uganda.

Since mid-June this year, M23 rebels have taken over several areas in the province of North Kivu, including Bunagana, the border town with Uganda.

A few days ago, Congolese authorities accused the M23 of having massacred 272 civilians in two villages under its occupation, with the UN putting the death toll at 130. The Congolese minister in charge of justice brought the case before the ICC (International Criminal Court).

The M23 has denied these accusations calling for an independent and impartial investigation.

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