EAC military generals will from June 15 -19 meet in Nairobi to further develop the framework to establish a regional force to help restore peace in the DRC.
This will be a follow up to the June 6 meeting in Goma, DRC, to agree on the initial modalities of establishing a regional forcé to fight armed rebels. Earlier on on April 21, Heads of State and Government of EAC member states directed on planning, accelerated establishment and urgent deployment of regional force to commence with immediate effect; to help contain and, where necessary, fight rebels in Eastern.
DRC Chief of General Staff General Célestin Mbala Munsense said his army is committed to restoring peace in the Eastern DRC.
Munsense said the regional heads of state have told the local armed groups to surrender unconditionally, cease hostilities and return to their countries of origin.
Kenya’s Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi, chairman of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Forces of the EAC partner states, said with DRC’s admission to the EAC technically expanded the community from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic.
Speaking during the Goma meeting, Kiboch said for the economic aspirations of the expanded EAC to be achieved, peace and security is of utmost importance and that is the reason met in the DRC.
“We must therefore collectively support efforts to address security challenges and restore peace and stability in the Eastern DRC. This will allow our people to exploit the full potential of regional integration,” he said.
The DR Congo is battling M23 and the Allied Democratic Forces, which are destabilizing the eastern Congo. The government of President Felix Tshisekedi imposed martial law in Ituri and North Kivu provinces in May and began joint operations with Uganda’s army in November against the ADF.
The group often kills civilians in retaliation for military attacks against it.
According to human rights, ADF has killed more than 1,200 people in 2021, an increase of almost 50 per cent from the previous year, according to the UN.