Rwandan forces have fired at a fighter jet from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that it said violated its airspace.
Rwandese government Spokesperson Yolande Makolo said that the fighter jet had violated its airspace, prompting its defence force to fire in response and called on DRC to stop the aggression.
“The RDF (Rwanda Defence Force) fired at the fighter jet from DRC that violated Rwandan airspace in Rubavu – same area as previous violations,” stated Makolo.
The incident is the latest dispute between the two neighboring countries whose relationship has soured due to a rebel insurgency.
However, Congolese government spokesman Patrick Muyaya through a statement condemned the attack against a Sukhoi-25 fighter jet and rejected Rwanda’s accusation that the aircraft was in Rwandan airspace.
“Rwandan fire was directed at a Congolese aircraft flying over the Congolese territory. It did not fly over Rwandan airspace in any way,” read the statement.
An Amateur video shared widely across social media platforms showed a projectile shooting toward an airborne military plane before a loud explosion was heard and seen in the air near the plane.
However, the plane landed without major damages.
Interested parties including Congo, United Nations experts and Western powers have accused Rwanda of backing the M23 rebel group in eastern Congo, which seized several towns and villages in offensives last year even though Rwanda denies involvement.
Rwanda accuses the Congolese army of using heavy weapons to target the country’s border zone in the renewed fighting.
Recent fights between the DRC government and M23 rebels who have been trying to advance in Masisi, a town in North Kivu.
Regional leaders brokered an agreement in November last year under which the Tutsi-led group was meant to withdraw from recently seized positions by January 15 as part of efforts to end the conflict that has displaced at least 450,000 people.
Last week, Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi observed that rebels had not fully withdrawn from their hideouts.