DRC denies violating Rwandan airspace after allegations

This content was published on Dec 30, 2022 – 06:38

Kinshasa, December 30 (EFE). – The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) denied violating Rwandan airspace with fighter jets, a day after Rwandan authorities accused it of doing so amid escalating tensions over Kigali’s alleged cooperation with Mars. 23 Movement (M23) is a rebel group.

“The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has informed the national and international public that, after several days of training, two Sukhoi aircraft performed routine flights last Wednesday following a predetermined trajectory (…) in Congolese airspace,” said the Congolese authorities. In a statement released late Thursday.

“Therefore, the Rwandan government cannot in any way regard this FARDC air movement within the national airspace as a provocation,” the document added.

Thus, Kinshasa responded to a statement issued by Rwanda this Wednesday in which Kigali accused the Congolese army of violating its airspace, which it described as a “provocation”.

“This incident is one of a series of provocations, including a similar airspace violation that took place on November 7 when a DRC fighter jet briefly landed at (Rwandan) Rubavu airport,” Rwanda said.

This is taking place in the midst of an intense diplomatic crisis in which Kinshasa accuses Rwanda of collaborating with the March 23 rebel movement, a point Kigali has always denied, despite the fact that at least two UN reports that EFE had access confirmed such cooperation.

For their part, both Rwanda and the M23 accuse the Congolese army of allying with the FDLR rebels, founded in 2000 by leaders of the 1994 genocide and other Rwandan exiles in the DRC. political power in their country of origin.

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The United Nations has also confirmed this cooperation.

Since the reactivation of the M23’s fighting against Congolese army positions, the rebels have occupied large areas and strategic locations in the DRC.

Likewise, the fear of these battles has forced more than half a million people to leave their homes, according to the latest United Nations data.

The March 23 Movement was created in 2012 as a splinter of the dissolved National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), a group of mostly Rwandan rebels who fought the FDLR on Congolese soil and subsequently joined the DRC army. March 23, 2009, which gives its name to the group.

Therefore, the rebels of the recently founded March 23rd Movement deserted the army to renegotiate that peace agreement and improve their situation.

Eastern DRC has been mired in conflict fueled by rebel militias and the army for more than two decades, despite the presence of the United Nations peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO), with more than 16,000 uniformed personnel on the ground. EFE

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