An African neutral force, working under the auspices of both the African Union and The United Nations, has been proposed for deployment by a regional subcommittee composed of seven defence ministers, to help restore peace in eastern DRC.
The subcommittee that was established by the summit of heads of state and government from the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) met in Goma and drafted the roadmap for the deployment of the neutral force.
The African neutral force was proposed following a flare-up of conflict in Eastern DRC following a mutiny by the M23 rebel forces that had hitherto been part of the Congolese Armed Forces, but defected to launch a rebellion complaining of mistreatment and failure by Kinshasa to honour an agreement that saw the rebel CNDP integrated into the Congolese army and political establishment in 2009.
A neutral force composed of African security forces, is the best option for resolving the crisis following the long years of conflict with no end in sight despite the presence of peacekeeping forces of MONUSCO.
Such a force that understands the intricate nature and complexities of the region, offers hope in routing negative elements like the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) responsible for heinous crimes against humanity. Regional and international cooperation and support, will be vital for the success of this home grown solution for a regional problem.