DRC: SADC confirms its support for Kinshasa

DRC: SADC confirms its support for Kinshasa

But unease persists in the face of the presence of Congolese rebels within the wazalendo and the FDLR militias alongside the SADC and MONUSCO.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has renewed its commitment to support both diplomatically and militarily the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in the grip of a rebellion, the M23, supported, according to multiple sources, by Rwanda , in the province of North Kivu (east), the Congolese press reported on Sunday.

The heads of state of the SADC countries – which brings together sixteen countries – have, at the end of an extraordinary summit held on Saturday in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, denounced and disapproved the steps taken by Rwanda against the mission of the SADC in the DRC, the SAMI-DRC, deployed since last December in North Kivu.

This summit was devoted to the evaluation of SADC missions in the DRC and Mozambique, whose gas-rich province of Cabo Delgado (north) has been the scene for several years of an insurrection led by jihadists linked to the State group. Islamic (IS).

According to UN radio Okapi, the heads of state of the member countries of this regional organization indicated that the deployment of the SAMI-DRC is in accordance with the pact which created the SADC and that of mutual defense of the member countries (South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, DRC, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Comoros).

Thus, the summit welcomed the failure to take into account Rwanda's request by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU). Rwanda had in fact taken steps with the United Nations Security Council and the AU Commission so that these bodies would not provide support for the SADC military mission in the DRC.

Kigali also expressed on February 12 its opposition to the support granted by the UN Mission for Stabilization in the DRC (MONUSCO) to the SAMIDRC, arguing that this would strengthen the offensive posture of the DRC to the detriment of a peaceful and peaceful solution. negotiated to the conflicts that have been tearing apart the east of the former Zaire for decades.

The AU Peace and Security Council has also requested that the equipment of the African Standby Force (FAA) stored in Cameroon be made available to SAMI-DRC to combat the M23.

Since the intensification of fighting in early February, which probably left hundreds dead, tens of thousands of residents have fled to Goma.

SADC, MONUSCO and rebels singled out by the UN side by side

This decision by the SADC was predictable. The organization's leaders could not publicly tear each other apart given the deployment already underway in the DRC of South African, Malawian and Tanzanian troops. But it in no way changes the deep unease aroused by this collaboration between peacekeepers, soldiers from southern Africa, Western mercenaries and Rwandan Hutu rebels from the ranks of the genocidaires or even pseudo Congolese “volunteers” (wazalendo) largely drawn from the ranks Congolese rebellions regularly condemned by the United Nations. All in the almost general absence of the official army of the DRC due to lack of political will in Kinshasa.

Rwandan troops in Cabo Delgado

It should also be remembered that SADC troops are also present in Mozambique, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado and that this mission to fight against the jihadists who are active in this region has also been confirmed. However, Rwandan troops are also deployed in Cabo Delgado and find themselves there with common interests with the SADC troops.

This confirmation of the SADC mission against the M23 does not silence the protest voices which have risen in South Africa against the deployment of soldiers in the DRC. Two months before the next presidential election, the opposition does not have harsh enough words to criticize this deployment, judging the soldiers poorly prepared and accusing the ANC, in power since 1994, of having underfunded the national army. . Two South African soldiers have been killed in the DRC since their deployment. In the event of other losses, the file for this deployment would undoubtedly be a thorn in the side of the ANC, to which polls already promise the loss of an absolute majority, which would be a first since the end of apartheid and the the election of Nelson Mandela.

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