Ver Angola


Angola will secure the M23 cantonment zones in the DRC with 500 men

Angola is going to send, for a period of 12 months, between 450 and 500 men to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRCongo), in order to secure the cantonment zones of the M23 forces, the government informed this Wednesday.


According to the Minister of State and head of the Military House of the President of the Republic, the contingent of the Angolan Armed Forces in Support of the Peacekeeping Operation and Securing of the M23 Cantonment Areas in DRCongo is composed of a battalion of the Angolan Armed Forces and the respective technical, military and logistical component.

Francisco Furtado was speaking during the discussion on the specialty report joint opinion on the specialty and the draft resolution, both approved this Thursday by the National Assembly with 31 votes in favour, with no votes against or abstentions.

The National Assembly authorizes the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, to finance the operation in the amount of 11.2 billion kwanzas, through funds from the 2023 General State Budget, from the Defense and Security sector, to fund the mission.

Speaking to the press, Francisco Furtado revealed that this figure is an estimate for the 12 months, because "it may not all be implemented by Angola", taking into account that there will be contributions from international organizations, namely the African Union, the United Nations and other partners.

Given the concern with the value of some deputies, Francisco Furtado detailed its application, informing that it includes the preparation, maintenance, revision of the equipment that this unit of the Angolan Armed Forces will use.

Angola has at the level of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) 28 percent of the force component and South Africa, the main State with 30 percent, and in the Central African region, Angola has 29 percent of the force and DR Congo 27 percent.

"That is where Angola has added responsibility, both in the SADC region and in the Central African region", stressed the minister, informing that a unit was formed in the Angolan Armed Forces, with around 2800 to 3000 men, specifically for this type of missions, which is force-generating for peacekeeping and support operations.

"And it is from this unit that the contingent of a battalion will come out to carry out this mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo", he stressed.

According to Francisco Furtado, the RDCongo is responsible for creating the conditions for the cantonment in this process, having to designate the areas, facilities and create the material and logistical conditions for this to take place with an amount earmarked for the purpose.

The minister stressed that as soon as the diploma is approved, the contingent should be ready to be sent to the neighboring country.

"If this diploma is approved next Friday, we will have a short period of up to 10 days to start this engagement of the unit on the ground", said the minister, considering this mission extremely important, "because hostilities have ceased".

To the deputies, Francisco Furtado underlined that, as they are belligerent forces, the Congolese Armed Forces cannot guarantee the stability and security of the cantonment areas where the forces of the March 23 Movement (M23) will be installed.

"This action must be carried out by the mediation mechanism", he said, adding that a regional force from East Africa is also engaged in this process, which constitutes a buffer zone between the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and DRCongo, to "prevent any support from Rwanda or other forces during the implementation of the peace process".

For this purpose, two areas in the northern part of Goma, South Kivu province, were chosen for the quartering of the M23, whose numbers are estimated to be between 1400 and 1600 men.

According to Francisco Furtado, the cantonment areas are located at distances of 300 and 420 kilometers from Goma, in the north and northeast direction, so that there is no involvement of any other force from the border region of Rwanda in the stabilization of the areas of cantonment.

In the event of a change in the scenario, an increase in forces and goods is expected depending on the current situation, assured the government official.


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