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Southern African Countries Express Concern Over Actions of Militias in DR Congo

© Photo X / @PresidencyZAExtraordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government, November 4, 2023
Extraordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government, November 4, 2023 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 05.11.2023
On November 4, Angola's capital city of Luanda hosted the extraordinary summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The host country's president and the chairman of the regional organization, Joao Lourenco, presided at the event. Security issues of the region were among the topics discussed at the summit.
The participants of the extraordinary summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) expressed concern about the intensification of military activity in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by the March 23 Movement (M23) rebel group, the final communique of the summit held in the Angolan capital Luanda said.

"[The] Summit expressed concern at the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the Eastern DRC and the reported resumption of attacks and occupation of territory by the M23, in clear violation of the Cease Fire," the communique read.

In addition, the document said that the summit gave "strategic guidance on the deployment of the SADC Mission in the DRC (SAMIDRC)" to establish peace and security in the country.
In May, the SADC summit participants decided to send their peacekeeping forces to the east of the DRC to support the Congolese Government in the fight against the rebels. Neither the number of the contingent sent to the DRC nor the time frame for its dispatch are known yet.
Internally displaced people get off from a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) truck in Kanyaruchinya on November 11, 2022 after fleeing conflict between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and M23 (March 23 Movement) in the territory of Rutsuru in the DRC.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 30.10.2023
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SADC unites 16 states, including the DRC. The founding documents of the organization provide for the possibility of conducting military operations in order to maintain the security in the southern states of the continent. According to the SADC charter, a member of the organization must officially apply for military assistance.
Apart from the SADC forces, there are the East African Community (EAC) peacekeeping forces in the DRC, but, according to the Congolese Minister of Communications, Patrick Muyaya, EAC troops "has not been able to solve the problem." Therefore, the official demanded the forces to leave the DRC by December 8.
Rebels from the M23 movement launched an offensive in the east of the DRC in January 2021. Later, they managed to capture several cities and towns in the country's province of North Kivu. In November 2022, a ceasefire agreement was reached in the region.
However, last month, the M23 units resumed their offensive, threatening to seize two cities in the east of the country – Goma and Sake. The March 23 Movement group was formed in 2012 by deserters from the Congolese armed forces and mostly consists of ethnic Tutsis.