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[VIDEO] SIGNS OF WAR: Rwanda Strikes DRC Air Force Plane

Rwanda’s government said on Tuesday that a fighter jet from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had violated its airspace, prompting its defence force to fire in response.

A video of a Congolese military plane being struck by missles mid air and later shown catching fire before it landed and the fire was extinguished has been circulating online.

Rwanda responded to the circulation of the video confirming its army had struck the military plane justifying the action that for the third time in three months, a fighter jet from the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) has violated Rwanda’s airspace which it described as a case of “continued aggression”.

A communique from the office of Government Spokesperson this evening said that at 5:03 pm. a Sukhoi-25 from the DR Congo violated Rwanda airspace for the third time, adding that “defensive measures were taken.”

Earlier on, the jet had, not only violated the airspace, but also, it briefly landed at Rwanda’s Rubavu airport in Western province.

In all occasions, DRC defended they “did not have any aggression intention.”

Yesterday, a meeting in Qatar between leaders from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was postponed as Doha and Washington attempt to facilitate mediation between both sides.

According to Africa Intelligence, the Gulf state has been rallying efforts to mediate between Kigali and Kinshasa “for weeks” in an attempt to bring together Rwanda’s leader Paul Kagame and DRC’s leader Felix Tshisekedi amid soaring tensions.

The meeting aims to return to the Luanda agreement, signed between both countries last year following mediation by Angolan President Joao Lourenco.

Officials from Angola, Burundi, and Kenya have also been reportedly invited to the meeting in Doha. Despite the delegation from Rwanda and the African Union currently in the Gulf state, Tshisekedi’s absence has forced the meeting to be postponed, Radio France Internationale correspondent Pascal Mulegwa said on Sunday.

Tensions between Rwanda and the DRC have been on the rise since last year, with both countries throwing tit-for-tat accusations of support for rebels on both sides.

Seeking to restore calm, heavyweight mediator Qatar and ally of the US held discussions to step towards peace in DRC.

The matter was discussed on Sunday between Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“Qatar wants to make itself indispensable as a convener of different actors across the Global South and beyond – it provides Qatar with leverage in Europe and especially in the United States,” Dr. Andreas Krieg, assistant professor at the School of Security Studies at King’s College London, told Doha News.

On Saturday, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Kenya’s leader William Ruto also held a phone call.

According to an Amiri Diwan statement, the call focused on bilateral relations and issues of common concern, though no mediation efforts were mentioned in the statement.

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