Air Incident over Rwanda: A Situational Assessment

On January 24th, the Rwandan Defense Forces accused the DRC of violating its airspace with a single Su-25 ground attack aircraft. The Congolese fighter plane was targeted with an anti-air defence system and sustained visible damage. Despite that, the aircraft was able to make it back to Goma. Rwanda and the DRC are already in the midst of a tense bilateral relationship over the M23 rebellion in the DRC’s North Kivu province. The incident highlights the level of animosity and mistrust which permeates this fraught relationship. There is a concern that this situation could escalate beyond the isolated incident and develop into a formal conflict between Rwanda and the DRC.

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