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Tensions escalate as Rwanda shoots at DR Congo military jet for violating its airspace

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The tensions that have continued to brew between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), could lead to a full blown war after Rwandan forces fired at a fighter jet from the DRC, with the claim that it violated its airspace.

A Rwandan government spokesperson, Yolande Makolo, said in a statement on Tuesday that his country had to take the measure after he military jet violated its airspace.

“A Sukhoi-25 fighter jet from the Democratic Republic of Congo violated for the third time Rwandan airspace over Rubavu district, near North Kivu capital Goma.

“Defensive measures were taken. Rwanda asks the DRC to stop this aggression,” she said.

However, in a prompt reaction, the Congolese government in a statement on Wednesday, accused its neighbours of committing “an act of war” with a vow to avenge the assault.

The DRC denied Rwanda’s accusation that the jet had been in Rwandan airspace.

“The Rwandan shots were directed towards a Congolese aircraft flying within Congolese territory,” a DRC government official said in a statement.

It described Rwanda’s move as a “deliberate act of aggression that amounts to an act of war aimed at undermining a peace agreement to end an offensive by the M23 rebel group,” it stated.

This is not the first time Rwanda has complained about the violation of its airspace by the DRC.

In December 2022, Rwanda had raised an alarm after a fighter jet from the DRC briefly violated its airspace while in November, an unarmed warplane briefly landed at a Rwandan airport while on a reconnaissance mission near the border, in what the DRC explained was an accident.

Metro

Somali military tribunal jails wife of Islamic State leader eight years

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A Somali military tribunal has sentenced the wife of a leader of the Islamic State terrorist group to eight years in prison for “passing on information and organizing financial transactions for the group.”

According to a top Somali military official, the convict, Fartun Abdirashid, the wife of the head of the Daesh (IS) group in the country, Abdiqadir Mumin, was sentenced on Monday after she was found guilty by a military court in Mogadishu.

“Fartun Abdirashid has been under the custody since her arrest in March last year in Mogadishu. Her husband is Abdiqadir Mumin, who is the head of the Daesh group, a terrorist organization linked to the Islamic State,” the military official said.

The Somali public prosecutor’s office, said the suspect was accused of frequently transferring $100 to $200 to the group’s members, and also had a working relationship with Bilal Al-Sudaani, a senior Islamic State group official who was killed last Wednesday in a U.S. raid in the northern Bari region.

Mumin, who was a former al-Shabab cleric, had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2015, and has led his group to hold a smaller but significant footprint in Somalia compared to the al-Shabab terrorist group that has carried out numerous attacks in the country.

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Metro

30 killed, 20 missing as tropical storm, Cheneso, sweep across Madagascar

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At least 30 people have been confirmed killed while 20 are missing following flooding and landslides caused by a tropical storm, Cheneso, which swept across Madagascar over the weekend.

The Madagascar National Office for Risk and Disaster Management, in a provisional assessment on Monday, said, the storm which made its first landfall in the northeast of the Indian Ocean island nation last Thursday, has so far impacted close to 89,000 people.

The Madagascan Meteorological Agency in a statement, said the storm, which has now passed across the country into the Mozambique Channel, saw winds gusting up to 170 kilometres per hour (105.63 miles per hour) and unleashed torrential rains.

The director of the Risk and Disaster office, Colonel Faly Aritiana, also said there had been house collapses and landslides in which people were trapped.

“People have been reacting generally in the right way, but some people have not been taking enough note of our warnings not to cross rivers in flood because the flow is much stronger than usual,” Aritiana said.

“The storm has damaged infrastructure, with many roads cut by rising waters, landslides and collapsed bridges,” he added.

Local media say nearly 33,000 people have had to leave their homes in the Boeny region, in the northwest of the island, while the prices of basic foodstuffs have skyrocketed.

“Prices of vegetables and rice increased a lot after the storm with the cost of tomatoes quadrupling. The merchants say it’s because the national road is cut,” it added.

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