DRC condemns “act of war” led by Rwanda

DRC condemns “act of war” led by Rwanda

AA / Kinshasa / Pascal Mulegwa

Kinshasa denounced an “act of war” following a shot by the Rwandan army on Tuesday on a fighter plane belonging to the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo which was flying over the east of its territory.

“The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo strongly condemns and denounces the attack against one of its Sukhoi-25 planes by the Rwandan army, this January 24, 2023 around 5:00 p.m. in Goma, capital of the province of North- Kivu”, underlines a press release issued by Patrick Muyaya, spokesperson for the Congolese government and Minister of Communication.

“This fighter plane was attacked as it began its landing at Goma International Airport. The Rwandan fire was directed at a Congolese aircraft flying inside Congolese territory. He never flew over Rwandan airspace. The plane landed without major material damage,” the statement from the Congolese authorities added.

The Government “considers this umpteenth attack on Rwanda as a deliberate act of aggression which amounts to an act of war”, added Congolese spokesperson, affirming, moreover, that this act was preceded by offensives, Tuesday morning, ” by the Rwandan army towards Kitchanga and immediately repelled by the Armed Forces of the DRC”.

In the meantime, Kinshasa claims to have observed “columns of Rwandan army soldiers coming from Rwanda to reinforce the positions of Kibumba and Bwito in anticipation of other criminal actions”.

The Congolese Government has drawn the attention of the international community “to the need and urgency to maintain pressure on Rwanda and the M23 terrorist movement to stop the violence which risks jeopardizing” the enrollment operations voters who start this Wednesday in the second operational area comprising the center and the south-east of the country.

The Rwandan government for its part accused the Congolese army of having “violated for the third time” its airspace at 5:03 p.m. by a Sukhoi-25.

“Defensive measures have been taken,” said the spokesperson for the Rwandan government, asking Kinshasa “to stop this aggression.”

The aircraft was filmed by residents in a state of distress after being hit by a Rwandan army shell.

The aircraft landed in flames and was attended to by fire crews from Goma International Airport.

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