Mandate of regional military force in DR Congo extended by 3 months

Leaders of the East African Community (EAC) unanimously voted Tuesday to extend the mandate of their regional military force which had been deployed to quell violence in the troubled eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The decision was announced in a communique released following the 22nd Extra-Ordinary Summit of the East African Community Heads of State held in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

The leaders of Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan and representatives from the DRC and Uganda convened to address the ongoing challenges in the eastern DRC region.

The communique stated that the leaders had collectively agreed to extend the mandate of the regional force in the DRC, which was set to expire on Sept. 8, by an additional three months to Dec. 8.

“The Heads of State took note of the operational milestones by the EAC regional force in restoring security in eastern DRC,” said the communique.

The regional military force was first deployed to eastern DRC in November last year. Since then, it has played a pivotal role in facilitating a successful cease-fire in many areas where the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) and the M23 rebel group had been engaged in intense conflict.

The situation in eastern DRC has been a matter of concern for the international community due to the prolonged violence and its impact on the civilian population.

The communique also expressed gratitude for the African Union Commission’s generous financial contribution of $2 million towards the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF), acknowledging their commitment to regional peace and stability.

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