Ver Angola


Angola will send a contingent to support peacekeeping in DRC

Angola will send a unit from the contingent to support peacekeeping operations, after consultations with the authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRCongo), the Presidency announced this Saturday.


According to the statement released on the Presidency's Facebook account, the unit's main objective is to "secure the cantonment areas of the M23 elements and protect the members of the Ad Hoc Verification Mechanism"

The initiative stems from the decisions taken by different mini-summits on the peace and security process in the DRCongo, in which Luanda assumes responsibilities as a mediator within the framework of the "Luanda Process".

During the tripartite summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (CIRGL), which addressed the peace process in the region in the presence of the heads of state of the DRCongo, Angola and Rwanda, in July last year, a roadmap was approved that provided among other actions, a Verification Mechanism led by an Angolan general officer.

This device has the mission of investigating the reciprocal accusations between DRC and Rwanda, as well as the allegations of violation of the common border.

The Ad-hoc Verification Mechanism also includes a team of three Angolan experts based in the city of Goma, North Kivu province (DRCongo), supported by the Joint Extended Verification Mechanism of the CIRGL and by MONUSCO (United Nations mission).

The communiqué adds that "Angola took the initiative to inform the region's leaders about this concert, within the framework of coordination between the Luanda and Nairobi Processes, as well as the United Nations, African Union and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)".

The Angolan President and Commander-in-Chief of the Angolan Armed Forces will also request authorization from the National Assembly to send the contingent.

DRC has been accusing Rwanda of supporting the March 23 Movement (M23) for years, a rebel group that occupies several areas and is accused of committing atrocities against the civilian population.

UN experts corroborated this Rwandan support last summer and several Western countries, such as the United States, have denounced this support, even as Kigali vigorously defended itself against the accusations.

On a visit to Kinshasa - the capital of the DRC - last week, French President Emmanuel Macron did not clearly condemn Rwanda, but issued warnings and called for an end to this "unjust and barbaric aggression".

In September, at the UN General Assembly, Congolese President Félix Tshiseked accused Rwanda, led by Paul Kagame, of "direct" military "aggression" and "occupation" in eastern DRCongo through its alleged support of M23.

Since then, under the auspices of the African Union and President João Lourenço, a de-escalation plan has been discussed and an appeal launched in Addis Ababa, on 17 February, by East Africa for a "withdrawal of all armed groups" in the east country, before 30 March.

The start of the ceasefire was scheduled for March 7 by the Angolan mediator, and Macron assured Kinshasa that everyone "clearly supports" this truce.


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