Retired president Uhuru Kenyatta, Facilitator of the EAC - led Nairobi Peace Process in the Restoration of Peace and Stability in the Eastern DRC, (L) meets Burundian President Évariste Ndayishimiye at the State House in Bujumbura on May 8, 2023. | PHOTO: HANDOUT
International News

Southern African Nations Agree to Deploy Troops to Counter Violence in Eastern DRC

Southern African nations have come together to tackle the violence and instability in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) caused by armed groups that have terrorized civilians for decades.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC), comprising 16 countries including South Africa, Mozambique, and Tanzania, announced the deployment of troops to restore peace and security in the eastern DRC following a summit held in Windhoek, Namibia.

The decision was made during the meeting, which was attended by several heads of states, including DRC’s President Felix Tshisekedi, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and ministers from the 16-member regional group.


The meeting did not, however, specify the number of troops to be deployed or the timeline for deployment.

The move by SADC nations will supplement the efforts of the East African regional military force that has taken control of some areas previously occupied by the M23 militia since December but has so far been unsuccessful in thwarting the insurgency.

The M23 is a Tutsi-led rebel group that still holds some territory in North Kivu and continues to clash with rival militias.

Armed groups have been a significant problem in the mineral-rich eastern DRC for three decades, a legacy of regional wars that took place in the 1990s and 2000s.

The M23 insurgency has displaced over a million people, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).