Mandate of regional force in DR Congo extended by 3 months

On 6 September 2023 at 07:09

The East African Community (EAC) Heads of State have agreed to extend the mandate of the EAC Regional Force deployed in eastern DR Congo for an additional three months, as announced on Tuesday, September 5th.

This decision was made during the 22nd Extra-Ordinary Summit of the East African Community Heads of State, which convened in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Leaders from Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and South Sudan, along with representatives from the DRC and Uganda, gathered to address the ongoing challenges in the eastern DRC region.

In their communique, they collectively decided to prolong the mandate of the regional force in the DRC, originally set to expire on September 8th, until December 8th.

"The Heads of State acknowledged the operational milestones of the EAC regional force in restoring security in eastern DRC," the communique emphasized.

The regional military force was initially deployed to eastern DRC in November last year.

Since then, it has played a crucial role in facilitating a successful cease-fire in many areas where the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) and the M23 rebel group had been engaged in intense conflict.

The prolonged violence in eastern DRC and its impact on the civilian population have been a cause for concern within the international community.

The communique also expressed gratitude for the African Union Commission’s generous financial contribution of $2 million towards the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF), recognizing their commitment to regional peace and stability.

The extraordinary EAC Summit, hosted by President William Ruto of Kenya and chaired by President Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi, was attended by President Paul Kagame.

The summit, held on the sidelines of the Africa Climate Summit, also saw the participation of Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and President Salva Kiir of South Sudan.

Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi was represented by Prime Minister Jean Michel Sama Lukonde, while Uganda’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of EAC Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga, represented President Yoweri Museveni.

Kagame is among other heads of state who attended the extra-ordinary summit.
The summit on DRC crisis took place in Nairobi.
The regional military force was initially deployed to eastern DRC in November of the previous year.