Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi has threatened to terminate the mandate of an East African Community military force that deployed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year. The force was set up to contain an insurgency by the Rwanda-backed M23 rebel group, which has uprooted nearly a million people in the country’s east. The EAC claims the rebels have pulled back from occupied areas thanks to their intervention, but Congolese officials say the group remains at large and accuse the EAC of inaction. The regional mission was unpopular from the outset among Congolese, who are mindful of the destructive role neighboring states have played in their country. Yet new military interventions are being prepared, with the Southern African Development Community (which includes South Africa, Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania) announcing plans to deploy troops. The focus on the M23 is, meanwhile, pulling attention away from DRC’s other armed groups, some of which are intensifying attacks and expanding their territory.
From The New Humanitarian, May 12
See our last report on M23 and the war in eastern DRC.
Photo: MONUSCO via Defense Post