Angola to send military to DRC after failed ceasefire

Monday March 13 2023

East African Regional Force soldiers guard Rumangabo camp in eastern DRC after the meeting with M23 rebels. PHOTO | GUERCHOM NDEBO | AFP


Angola on Saturday said it would send a military unit to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after the collapse of the ceasefire it brokered between the M23 rebels and the Congolese army.

Fighting in villages around the city of Goma has intensified, with both sides accusing each other of breaking the truce.

According to the Angolan presidency, the unit will secure the areas held by the M23 and protect ceasefire monitors.

The peace process led by Angolan President João Lourenço, the mediator in the DRC crisis, and former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta has failed to impose a ceasefire in eastern DRC, where violence is escalating as a result of the M23 war and armed groups, including the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) extremists suspected of killing 36 people this week.

Angolan President João Lourenço

Angolan President João Lourenço. PHOTO | AMPE ROGERIO | AFP

Blame games


The multiple failures of ceasefires, added to the posture of the East African regional force to privilege diplomacy over combat, has pushed the DRC authorities to seek military cooperation with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries as in 1998 when Namibia, Angola and Zimbabwe saved DRC former president Laurent Désiré Kabila from a war that had reached Kinshasa.

The Angolan contingent is expected to arrive in North Kivu, where the Kenyan and Burundian soldiers are deployed as part of the East African regional force.

A UN Security Council delegation is on an assessment mission in North Kivu after being in Kinshasa.

Read: UN delegates visit Congo's Goma

Former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta is also in the DRC in search for peace.