Maputo — The Mozambican Council of Ministers (Cabinet) on Tuesday approved a proposal to send a military contingent to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to join a United Nations peace enforcement mission.
Announcing the decision, Fisheries Minister Victor Borges told reporters that the proposal will now be sent to President Armando Guebuza for his approval, in his constitutional capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM).
He said it was Guebuza who will decide on the size of the Mozambican military contingent.
The decision follows the signing on Sunday in Addis Ababa of a framework agreement for peace in the DRC. 11 southern and central African states signed the agreement, which is aimed at ending all outside interference in the DRC’s internal affairs.
Addressing the signing ceremony, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he would shortly be issuing a report on the DRC and the Great Lakes region which “will outline my proposal for a new comprehensive approach to addressing the underlying causes of the conflict”.
This would include “a strengthened political and security role” for the UN mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), “including the deployment of an intervention brigade with a peace enforcement mandate”.
A summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), held in December in Dar es Salaam, decided to provide 4,000 troops for a Neutral International Force (NIF) that will operate in the eastern DRC.
Prior to the Mozambican announcement, pledges of troops were made by Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania. It is estimated the NIF will cost the SADC region around 100 million US dollars.