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President João Lourenço to Deploy Contingents to Help Secure Eastern DRC

The President of Angola, João Lourenço said the Angolan military is ready to be deployed in a few days to ensure the safety of the M23 elements who will be disarmed and confined. He said in an interview on Monday, May 8, 2023, with France 24.

In response to some questions about the M23, Angola’s President João Lourenço said he does not believe there will be a war between Rwanda and DR Congo. He said he was hopeful that his mediation efforts to restore peace in DR Congo’s east would bear fruit, France 24 reported.

Lourenco explained that the M23 rebel group was upholding a ceasefire reached a few weeks ago and that the next step was for the group to be contained and disarmed, according to the same source.

“We know that so far the M23 is respecting the ceasefire. Unfortunately, the next step has not yet materialized. This step does not depend only on the M23. It also depends on the country, the DRC. We have put in place a cease-fire, now we have to canton these forces and start the process of reintegrating these Congolese citizens into Congolese society”, said President João Lourenço.

The expected role of Angola in Eastern DRC

According to the Angolan President, João Lourenço,  his country will send a military unit to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to help secure areas that have been held by the M23 rebel group and to protect ceasefire monitors.  

Once the conditions are met, the contingent will get ready to be deployed in a few days. This contingent will be able to provide security for the M23 elements that will be placed in this cantonment center.

The Angolan forces will join the existing UN peacekeeping force and forces from the East African Community, including Kenyan, Ugandan, South Sudanese, and Burundian troops, in an attempt to halt the worsening insecurity in the region.

On April 18, Tommy Tambwe, national coordinator of the P-DDRCS (Disarmament, Demobilization, Community Rehabilitation and Stabilization Program), explained that two sites will be set up for the pre-cantonment of these combatants: one in Kitshanga for those in Masisi territory and another in Jomba for those in Rutshuru territory. The actual cantonment will take place near Kindu (Maniema).

Source : Region Week