The East African Community Regional Forces (EACRF) are currently facing a precarious situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as hostilities between the Congolese forces and M23 rebels have reignited. The escalating conflict has prompted Uganda and Burundi, both contributing troops under the EACRF, to issue warnings of retaliation in response to alleged provocations.
Contributing Countries and Forces
|Uganda||Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces|
|Burundi||Burundi Defence Forces|
The M23 rebels are reportedly advancing towards Goma City and Sake, a major town, intensifying the struggle in the region. Burundi Defence Forces have accused the M23 rebels of impeding food supplies to their bases, threatening responsive action if such actions persist. The M23 rebels, in turn, allege collaboration between Burundian forces and the Congolese forces against them, a claim refuted by Bujumbura.
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In a statement, Colonel Floribert Biyereke, the spokesman for Burundi’s army, revealed that complaints had been lodged with the EACRF regarding these allegations, but as of Thursday, no action had been taken.
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Colonel Michael Walaka Hyeroba, Commander of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces contingent, emphasized the need for constant alertness and readiness to act, stressing the right to self-defense as per their mandate.
The EACRF is yet to comment on the situation. However, concerns linger as the mandate in the Eastern DRC is set to conclude on December 8, with the Congolese government expressing reluctance to renew it.
In response to the escalating conflict, DRC President Felix Tshisekedi has directed his defense and foreign affairs ministries to facilitate the deployment of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Eastern DRC.
|November 13||President Tshisekedi instructs defense and foreign affairs ministries to ensure SADC deployment|
According to Tina Salama, the spokesperson for President Tshisekedi, this move aligns with the conclusions of the 43rd Summit of SADC Heads of State, aiming to restore peace and security in the country.