The Democratic Republic of the Congo had rejected claims that a French military plane allegedly filled with weaponry landed at the Kisangani airport on Friday.
The jet “landed in distress,” according to government spokesman Patrick Muyaya, and was “searched.”
The pilot requested to land at the closest airport because “one of its engines could catch fire,” he said. The plane had taken off from Reunion Island and was en route to the Chadian capital, Ndjamena. It was passing through Bujumbura in Burundi.
Social media users published numerous images of the plane at Kisangani Airport, with many alleging it was transporting weapons and ammunition to a rebel group operating in eastern DR Congo.
Mr Muyaya said the plane had nine staff on board and there was “nothing to worry about”. It is waiting for an “intervention from Paris” to be able to continue its journey, he added.
Misinformation has become more prevalent on social media as a result of recent skirmishes between the army and M23 insurgents.
Kinshasa claims that the neighboring country of Rwanda supports the M23 organization, although Kigali has consistently refuted this assertion.
To resolve the crisis, Presidents Felix Tshisekedi and Paul Kagame are scheduled to meet in Luanda, the capital of Angola, on Wednesday.