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Regional military force in eastern DRC fuels fears of fragmentation, hopes for peace

he EAC troops are tasked with defusing the tension flared up in eastern DRC by rebel groups. Then why do some Congolese fear a fragmentation of their country from these troops?

The Democratic Republic of Congo has once again been fighting M23 rebels after the armed group re-emerged in late 2021.

After a series of setbacks on the front, the seven-nation East African Community (EAC) which includes the DRC decided to form a military force to respond to the crisis last June.

Kenyan soldiers deployed in November, followed in recent weeks by Burundian, Ugandan and South Sudanese troops.

They are tasked with overseeing the withdrawal of M23 fighters from eastern DRC.

On April 3rd, a spokesperson for the regional force announced that Ugandan troops had taken control of Bunagana, a key town that was captured by the M23 rebels in June 2022.

Despite some positive developments, the role and presence of certain neighbouring countries in the regional force have some Congolese concerned.

Distrust and inaction

Denis Mukwege, the Congolese doctor who won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for helping rape victims in the region, recently tweeted that the EAC force is made up of “destabilising states.”

Congolese MPs also recently asked the Defence and Foreign Affairs ministers for clarifications about the EAC force, and in particular the role of Ugandan troops. It is because Uganda has a history of interference in eastern Congo.

https://www.africanews.com/2023/04/12/regional-military-force-in-eastern-drc-fuels-fears-of-fragmentation-hopes-for-peace/

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