The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called for the immediate end of hostilities between all armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The call was made by the SADC Extra-ordinary Organ Troika Summit and Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) Troop Contributing Countries (TCC), chaired by President Hage Geingob, in Windhoek on Monday.
The eastern DRC has been plagued with conflict involving at least 122 rebel groups, according to a recent count by the United Nations. SADC formed the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region in February 2013, aimed at ushering im peace, stability and security in DRC and the Great Lakes Regions.
Reading the summit communique, SADC Executive Secretary Elias Mpedi Magosi said SADC reiterated its call for an immediate end to hostilities by all armed groups and unconditional withdrawal from the currently occupied areas.
SADC further called for immediate regional support to the government of DRC to address the prevailing security situation in eastern DRC, ahead of the national elections scheduled to be held in December 2023, he said.
Magosi also noted that SADC approved the deployment of a SADC Force within the framework of the SADC Standby Force as a regional response in support of DRC to restore peace and security.
“Summit approved a SADC ‘Common Position’ to have more concern of the unstable and deteriorating security situation prevailing in the eastern DRC and reiterated its strong condemnation of the upsurge of conflicts and activities of Armed Groups, including the resurgence of M23 rebels in the DRC,” he read.
The summit was attended by the heads of state of Namibia, South Africa, DRC, Tanzania and representatives of Angola, Malawi and Zambia, including the executive secretary of SADC.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency