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Angolan President Reiterates SADC’s Commitment to Peace in Eastern DRC

President João Lourenço of Angola, also the chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), has reaffirmed the regional body’s commitment to achieving lasting peace in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

As the African Union-appointed mediator for peace talks between the DRC and Rwanda, President Lourenço expressed deep regret over the recent surge in fighting in North Kivu Province between M23 rebel fighters and the Congolese armed forces. The conflict has resulted in civilian casualties and forced many to flee their homes.

During his visit to the SADC headquarters in Gaborone on Friday, President Lourenço stressed the importance of dialogue to foster peace. He voiced particular concern about the new wave of violence in eastern DRC, highlighting its negative impact on the region’s development and integration.

“It is essential that we discuss issues related to peace and security in our region. Our main concern remains the Democratic Republic of Congo, where we have recently witnessed a worrying worsening of the conflict in the east of this country, with consequences that directly affect the entire development and integration process of countries in our region,” President Lourenço stated before SADC executives.

Despite stalled peace negotiations between the DRC and Rwanda amid ongoing M23 rebel attacks, President Lourenço assured that SADC remains dedicated to working for peace and security in eastern DRC.

He announced the deployment of a new SADC Brigade Force mission to support the Congolese armed forces in their fight against the M23 rebels in North Kivu. This initiative is part of SADC’s efforts to bring peace to the region.

“I would like to highlight here the commitment made by our organization to send a detachment of the SADC Enhanced Brigade Forces, whose main objective is to help this sister country find the quickest paths towards stability, thus contributing to the total pacification of our region,” he said.

Since December 15, 2023, the SADC’s regional force in the DRC (SAMIRDC) has been active, although it has already lost more than four soldiers to fierce clashes with M23 fighters.

Source: DRC News Today

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