Rwanda’s government says that a fighter jet from Democratic Republic of Congo briefly violated its airspace, the latest accusation to fly between the two countries whose relations have frayed this year.
Congo, Western powers and United Nations experts accuse Rwanda of backing M23 rebels in eastern Congo, who have seized several towns and villages in offensives this year.
Rwanda denies any involvement, saying the allegations are a tactic to cover up Congo’s security failures. In July Congo’s president and his Rwandan counterpart agreed at a summit in Angola’s capital, Luanda, to de-escalate tensions, but the M23 rebels continued to advance.
It accuses Kinshasa of colluding with the FDLR — a former Rwandan Hutu rebel group based in the DRC.
“A Sukhoi-25 fighter jet from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) violated Rwandan airspace along Lake Kivu in the Western Province of Rwanda today at around” midday, the Rwandan government said in a statement.
The aircraft immediately returned to the DRC, the statement said, adding: “Rwandan authorities have once again protested to the DRC government against the violations of Rwandan airspace by DRC fighter jets.”