The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah who also serves as the Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the SADC Organ Troika Plus the Force Intervention Brigade Troop Contributing Countries (FIB TCCs) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said they have agreed to strengthen collaboration with the Government of the DRC, and SADC’s Force Intervention Brigade, with the support of the United Nations and MONUSCO due to insecurities caused by the recent situation in Eastern DRC .
“Our deliberations today contributed towards the engagement with the UN Secretary General on the margins of the UN General Assembly later this month, on the configuration, structure and mandate of the FIB, within the remaining period of the mandate, until December 2022. SADC will continue to engage all relevant stakeholders to concretely contribute towards stability in the eastern part of the DRC,” stated Nandi-Ndaitwah.
The minister said this during her closing remarks at the Extra-ordinary meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ Troika Plus Force Intervention Brigade Troop Contributing Countries (FIB TCCs) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) yesterday.
She added that the recent situation in DRC remains unstable due to the increase in activities of illegal armed groups and insurgents, that have caused the loss of hundreds of lives, the destruction of properties, and the forced displacement of local populations, despite the Peace Deal Agreement.
The eastern DRC is experiencing an alarming uptick of armed group violence, including increased attacks on civilians and camps for the displaced. In July, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that recent skirmishes in North Kivu province between the Congolese army and the March 23 Movement (M23), an armed group defeated by UN and Congolese forces in 2013, displaced more than 160,000 people.
Moreover, because of the redeployment of both government and UN troops to areas where the M23 is most active, a security vacuum has emerged in Ituri province and parts of North Kivu. Other armed groups have also intensified attacks against civilians in these parts.
Howrever, DRC has signed a troop deployment deal with the East African Community (EAC), signalling the imminent formal sending of forces to combat rebels in the east of the country.