Leaders of Africa’s Great Lakes region back deployment of SADC troops to Congo

Leaders of Africa’s Great Lakes region back deployment of SADC troops to Congo

SADC troops would 'bolster the combined regional response to threats of peace and security in Congo,' says joint statement after summit

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) – Leaders of Africa’s Great Lakes region endorsed a decision by southern African nations to deploy troops to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in an effort to end violence by armed groups, said a statement issued on Sunday.

Leaders under the International Conference of Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and East African Community (EAC) welcomed the decision by the 16-member Southern African Development Community (SADC) at a summit Saturday in the Angolan capital Luanda.

The summit said the new forces under the SADC Standby Force would “bolster the combined regional response to threats of peace and security in the Congo.”

The endorsement came weeks after the SADC resolved to send troops to support peacekeeping operations in eastern DR Congo at a special meeting in Namibia’s capital, Windhoek.

Angolan President Joao Lourenco, the acting president of ICGLR, hosted Saturday’s summit as the African Union mediator for the peace process between the Congolese M23 rebel group and the government.

The ongoing violence in DR Congo has displaced more than 800,000 people, according to the UN.

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