Tanzania is ready to send troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo to fight M23 rebels who are making advances to the capital Kinshasa after capturing several key towns, including eastern city of Goma.
Tanzania’s minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Bernard Membe, said yesterday that the country would, however, only send its troops if the UN headquarters in New York immediately mandate the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) to deploy troops in DRC to fight the anti-government rebels.
Presidents from the Great Lakes Region are meeting in Kampala today (Friday) for a crisis summit during which they will discuss the deteriorating situation in eastern DRC where the rebels have captured Goma, a nearby town of Sake which lies 20km south of Goma and vowed to press on with their offensive to take South Kivu provincial capital of Bukavu which lies 300km to the south of Goma.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mr Membe said leaders within the region under their chairman Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni have called a crisis summit to discuss the matter and see how they could arrest the situation in eastern Congo before it gets out of hand.
The minister said the UN is currently using Chapter 6 of its resolutions, which basically allows peacekeeping and not peace enforcement.
In peace enforcement the UN troops would, if need be, use force to keep peace.
Presently, there over 17,000 troops under the UN who are not doing anything to protect the Congolese people and instead, they are only “observing things”.