Southern African Bloc Renews Mission in Mozambique, Deploys Troops in DR Congo
11:25 18.08.2023 (Updated: 12:44 18.08.2023)
The decision was taken by bloc members at their summit in Angola's capital Luanda, which focused on industrialization, health, labor, gas, in addition to regional security issues, and appointed Angola's President Joao Lourenсo to chair SADC this year.
The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) has agreed to extend its Mission in Mozambique for 12 months, according to the group's communique
following the 43rd SADC Summit.
The SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) was deployed in July 2021 as a regional response to terrorism and acts of violent extremism in the northern province of Cabo Delgado and aims to restore security in the country.
"Summit endorsed the extension of the SADC Mission in Mozambique by twelve months, and commended Member States, SAMIM Mission Leadership and Personnel for their dedication and contribution in supporting the Mission to achieve peace and security in the Cabo Delgado Province," the statement read.
At the summit, bloc members also approved the deployment of troops to "restore peace and security" in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
"Summit also received an update on the security situation in the eastern DRC and endorsed the deployment of the SADC Mission in the DRC (SAMIDRC) to restore peace and security in the eastern DRC," the communique said.
The group's efforts will complement peacekeeping initiatives already operating in the Central African country, such as the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO) and the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF).
However, on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced
that MONUSCO will embark on an "accelerated withdrawal" after operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for a decade.
As for the EACRF, their contingent was deployed in the DRC's east last November and includes so far troops from Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda.
In May, East African leaders agreed to prolong the mandate of the regional military force until September.
The deployment of troops from African regional blocs to DR Congo was prompted by the deteriorating security situation in the east of the country, where the M23 group has launched a rebellion against the government.
In May, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that persistent attacks by armed groups in the DR Congo continue to force millions of Congolese into displacement and dire living conditions.
The agency added that there are 6.2 million internally displaced people in the country and more than 1.3 million have become refugees.