Kinshasa denies the allegations by Kigali, which described the incident as a “deliberate act of aggression amounting to an act of war”.

Rwandan forces fired on a DRC fighter jet it said had violated its airspace, prompting the Congolese government to accuse it of an act of war.

Rwandan government spokesman Yolande Makulu said in a statement on Tuesday that a Su-25 fighter jet from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) violated Rwandan airspace for the third time over the Rubavu region near North Kivu, the capital of Goma.

“Defensive measures have been taken,” she said, adding that “Rwanda requests the DRC to stop this aggression.”

Rwanda said in December that another fighter jet from the Democratic Republic of the Congo had briefly violated its airspace.

An unarmed Congolese warplane also briefly landed at a Rwandan airport in November while on a reconnaissance mission near the border, in what the DRC described as an accident.

The DRC denied Rwanda’s accusation that the plane was in Rwandan airspace – the latest dispute between the two countries, whose relationship has been strained by rebel violence.

“The Rwandan shots were directed at a Congolese plane that was flying inside Congolese territory,” Kinshasa said in a statement, stressing that the plane landed in Goma without major damage.

It described Rwanda’s move as a “deliberate act of aggression amounting to an act of war” aimed at undermining a peace deal to end an offensive by the March 23 rebel movement.

And a video clip that was widely circulated on social media in the Congo showed that a shell was fired at an airborne military plane, before it exploded near the plane, which continued to fly. The video cannot be verified immediately.

The DRC, UN experts and Western powers have accused Rwanda of supporting the March 23 Movement, which seized several towns and villages in the DRC in renewed fighting last year. Rwanda denied any involvement.

The region’s leaders brokered an agreement in November under which the Tutsi-led group was supposed to be established Withdraw of recently captured positions by 15 January as part of efforts to end the fighting displaced At least 450,000 people.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi said last week that the rebels did Not fully withdrawn from those areas.

Meanwhile, fresh fighting broke out on Tuesday morning between Congolese government forces and M23 rebels in Masisi and Rutshuru near the town of Kitchanga, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Goma.



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