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A Dangerous Escalation in the Great Lakes

Already high tensions between Kigali and Kinshasa have risen sharply after Rwanda’s defence forces shot at a Congolese warplane they accuse of violating Rwandan airspace.

  • In this Q&A, Crisis Group examines why the situation has deteriorated and outlines pathways toward de-escalation.

What is the latest flashpoint?

On 24 January, at around 5pm, the Rwandan army fired a missile at a Congolese Sukhoi-25 fighter jet as it flew over Goma, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu province.

The city of one million is situated along the border with Rwanda.

According to Crisis Group contacts in the…

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