The EAC extra-ordinary summit leaders have called for the immediate ceasefire in the DRC.
Following the meeting in Bujumbura, Burundi, on Saturday under the chairship of President Evariste Ndayishimiye, the leaders called for the withdrawal, including all foreign armed groups.
The Summit also directed the Chiefs and Defence Forces to meet within one week and set timelines for the withdrawal and recommended appropriate deployment matrix. The process will be accompanied by dialogue, the communique said.
“The Heads of State directed that violations be reported to the chairperson of the summit for the immediate consultation with members of the summit,” the communique added.
The summit also directed that all troops contributing countries to immediately deploy and urged the DRC to facilitate the deployment of troops from South Sudan and Uganda.
Senegal was commended for its financial support for the political process as long as Kenya and Tanzania.
The heads of state also urged all parties to implement the summit’s decisions and obligations agreed on in previous meetings, as well as established instruments on restoration of peace and security in the DRC.
The EAC leaders have deployed a regional force to stabilize the eastern DRC region and get rid of armed groups, including the M23.
According to the UN, the ongoing violence and conflict are responsible for almost all of the displacement 96.5 per cent.
UNHCR in January expressed its concerns over the escalation of brutal attacks on civilians by non-state armed groups in eastern DRC.
UNHCR on January 24 said more than 200 civilians have been killed in the last six weeks in Ituri in a series of attacks by non-state armed groups, which also destroyed 2,000 houses and closed or demolished 80 schools.
“At least 52,000 people have fled in a province already hosting 1.5 million IDPs. Of those, 35,000 people have found refuge in the relative safety of Rhoe IDP site, where the infrastructure of emergency shelters, communal latrines and shared cooking spaces is now straining under the weight of a population of 70,000 people – nearly double its planned capacity,” the UN agency said.
Attacks are also occurring in neighbouring North Kivu province, where a dramatic resurgence of clashes began in March 2022 and 521,000 people have fled for their lives from aerial bombardment and forced recruitment by non-state armed groups.
Some 120,000 people have moved to the relative safety of the outskirts of the provincial capital of Goma, carrying personal belongings on their heads and children on their backs. In total, 2.1 million people are displaced in the conflict-torn province.