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READY TO GO TO WAR: DRC Warns Rwanda; “We Reserve The Right To Defend Our Territory”

In the rising tension between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, the two countries are sizing each other with the situation threatening to degenerate into full scale war.

Following an admission by Rwanda that it struck a DRC fighter plane with a missle yesterday, the former has responded angrily stating while it has engaged in peaceful processes to resolve the crisis in the eastern parts, “the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo reserves the legitimate right to defend its national territory and will not let it go.”

By 5 pm on Tuesday, a DRC fighter plane descending at an airport in Goma, a border town with Rwanda, was hit by a missile.

Rwanda claimed responsibility stating that it was responding to an act of aggregation.

The Congolese government has however denied engaging in any act of aggression but states it was the victim and will not sit idle while Rwanda attacks its territory.

“The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo strongly condemns and denounces the attack against one of its Sukhoi-25 aircraft by the Rwandan army, this January 24, 2023 around 5:00 p.m. in Goma, capital of the province of North Kivu,” a media statement read.

“This fighter plane was attacked as it began to land on the runway at Goma International Airport. The Rwandan fire was directed at a Congolese aircraft flying inside Congolese territory. He never flew over Rwandan airspace. The aircraft landed without major material damage.

“This attack is in addition to the offensive launched this [Tuesday] morning by the Rwandan army towards Kitchanga and immediately repelled by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC). In the meantime, columns of Rwandan army soldiers are observed coming from Rwanda to reinforce the positions of Kibumba and Bwito in anticipation of other criminal actions.”

The DRC states that it considers the attack by Rwanda as a deliberate act of aggression which amounts to an act of war whose only objective is to sabotage the efforts under way in the implementation of the actions agreed upon within the framework of the Luanda and of Nairobi for the restoration of peace in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the region of the Great Lakes.

“Moreover, a few days before the start of voter registration operations in the Center and East of the country, the Government draws the attention of the international community to the urgent need to maintain pressure on Rwanda and the M23 terrorist movement to stop the violence that risks jeopardizing these operations in this election year,” the statement further reads.

DRC has long accused Rwanda of sponsoring the M23 rebel group which has terrorized its eastern parts for years on end. Millions have died in the war.

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