East African Leaders Agree Troop Deployment to DRC – The Organization for World Peace

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As the devastating war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rumbles, pressure continues to mount on the country’s leaders to bring about a speedy conclusion to a seemingly endless affair. East African countries have constantly worried about political insecurity in the region and have viewed the DRC as a problem area for decades. Although in the wake of such concern, East African leaders, under the region’s economic bloc, the East African Community (EAC), agreed to bring together troops in the east of the country, in order to fight the armed groups which have ravaged the region in recent times. Congolese authorities, led by President Felix Tshisekedi, announced the first deployment of troops to the region, with fellow member states Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda seeking to follow suit.

Declared by the Norwegian Refugee Council to be “the world’s most neglected refugee crisis”, the conflict in the DRC has since heated up, with simmering tensions reaching a fever pitch in recent weeks and months. Skirmishes have been reported in North Kivu province near the Rwandan and Ugandan borders between the Congolese army and the March 23 Movement – ​​an armed militia – these tensions have reportedly displaced up to 160,000 people. In light of such devastation, EAC Heads of State called for an immediate ceasefire in eastern DRC and decided to hold an emergency meeting at an even faster pace. fast. It was here that Kenya’s Chief of Defense Force, General Robert Kibochi, laid out the plan for EAC members to join forces to ‘contain, defeat and eradicate the negative forces’ in the east of the DRC who have made their way for too long.

This decision highlights the strength of the EAC, which has always been the subject of strong criticism, as many had perceived it as a completely impotent organizational structure. However, its response to the ongoing crisis in the DRC seems commendable and underlines that all Member States are firmly on the same page when it comes to promoting stability in the region and, above all, ending the destruction of the Congolese nation. The subject of intervention in the DRC has always persisted as inherently controversial, with no leader historically seeking to walk that red line. Although it seems that times have changed. The effective deployment of the troops implies that the EAC are now clear on their objectives in the DRC, and that they are fundamentally united so that a conclusive action is undertaken. While the success of such a decision will of course be revealed in due course, the first and arguably most vital step has been taken, with this decision hopefully representing the start of the DRC’s long road to recovery.

The current tension in the DRC has its origins a very long time ago, with the conflict resulting from the colossal refugee crisis and the fallout from the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The perpetrators of the genocide belonging to the Hutu ethnic group fled to the east of the DRC and formed armed groups to oppose the Tutsi and other rebel groups formed by rival ethnicities. The Congolese government was simply unable to stem the flow of refugees, while being rendered unable to control the newly created armed groups, which inevitably led to the outbreak of war. While the initial conflict represented the First Congo War, the Second Congo War was fought from 1998 to 2003, with Congolese government forces backed by Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe clashing with Ugandan-backed rebels. and Rwanda. More than three million people have tragically lost their lives as rebel groups continue to hold their positions in eastern DRC to this day where a surprisingly serious threat continues to pose.

The need for further action in eastern DRC is therefore clearly underlined, although major obstacles unfortunately remain. Whether or not the cost of such an operation can be borne by East African governments remains to be seen, although time is running out for a nation that has completely forgotten what peacetime is fundamentally.

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