DRC: Why EACRF is Seeking to Extend Mandate Beyond Stipulated September 8th Deadline

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To galvanize the peace efforts, the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) has recommended that the government of DRC consider extending the EACRF mandate beyond the September 8th deadline to safeguard the gains made by the Regional Force.

This follows an Extraordinary Meeting of Ministers of Defence from the East African Community (EAC) held in Nairobi yesterday, under the Chairmanship of the Minister of National Defence and War Veterans Hon. Eng. Alain Tribert.

According to Defense CS Aden Duale, the meeting also noted the progress made in silencing the M23 militia and other armed groups, and the ministers appended their signatures to a communique that will be presented to the Extra Ordinary Heads of State Summit on the DRC situation later this month.

”Among the milestones realized include the opening up of Main Supply Routes and the return of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their homes as well as improved access to healthcare and other essential services,” Duale said.

”However, the Ministers noted that, though suppressed, the M23 and other armed groups continue to create humanitarian challenges and spill-over effects in the region,” he added.

The force, made up of Kenyan, Ugandan, Burundian, and South Sudanese soldiers, has been deployed gradually in the Eastern DRC since last November in response to an advance by the rebels of the M23 (“March 23 Movement”) in this region, which has been plagued by armed groups for nearly 30 years.

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