AU approves SADC deployment despite Rwanda’s protest

A virtual meeting was held on 4th March 2024 by the African Union Peace and Security Council to consider the situation in Eastern DRC and the deployment of the SADC Mission in the DRC.

A move that saw Rwanda reacting through the ministry of Foreign Affairs urging the African Union not to not fund the SADC Mission in DRC (SAMIDRC).

“SAMIDRC as an offensive force in coalition with FARDC, Burundi Forces cannot substitute for a political process that has been blocked by the Government of DRC. Therefore, the African Union is urged to not “authorize” or fund SAMIDRC,” a letter reads from Rwanda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) released a statement last Saturday expressing deep concern over the resurgence of the March 23 Movement (M23) in the eastern DRC and strongly condemned the human rights abuses committed by the M23, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), and other negative forces and armed groups active in the Eastern DRC.

“The AUPSC endorses the deployment of SAMIDRC in the eastern DRC and requests the AU Commission to mobilise requisite support for SAMIDRC, including from the AU Peace Fund Crisis Reserve Facility,” part of the statement reads from the AUPSC after the meeting.

The African Union Peace and Security Council requested the AU Commission to expedite the transfer of the equipment donated to SADC, which is still at the AU Continental Logistics Base in Douala, Cameroon, to support in efforts of ensuring effective implementation of SAMIDRC mandate.

The deployment of the SADC forces comes after Kinshasa declined to renew the mandate of the East African Forces whose mandate ended December 2023 after a one year period.

According to President Felix Tshisekedi’s government the regional forces failed to execute their mandate which he says was to fight the M23 rebels.

Since the regional forces pulled out of the eastern DRC, violence escalated as M23 rebels intensified confrontations with the government forces.

The DRC government accuses Rwanda of supporting M23 rebel group who have continued to displace thousands of Congolese while hundreds have lost their lives, an allegation that Rwanda denies.


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