Rwandan forces fired at Congolese Air Force SU-25 fighter jets over an alleged airspace violation, prompting the Congolese government to accuse it of an act of war.
A video shared widely on Congolese social media showed a projectile shooting toward an airborne military plane, before exploding in the air near the aircraft, which continued to fly.
Rwanda’s government said its military had been forced to respond on Tuesday after a Sukhoi-25 from Congo breached its airspace for a third time in recent months.
“Defensive measures were taken,” Rwandan government spokesperson Yolande Makolo said in a statement. “Rwanda asks the DRC to stop this aggression.”
Congo denied Rwanda’s accusation that the jet had been in Rwandan airspace – the latest dispute between the two countries whose relationship has been strained by a rebel insurgency.
The two previous cases of alleged violations were reported in November and December, prompting protests from the Rwandan capital, Kigali.
Congo, United Nations experts, and Western powers have accused Rwanda of backing the M23 in eastern Congo, which seized several towns and villages in renewed fighting last year.
Rwanda has denied any involvement.