Angola Confirms SADC Mission to DR Congo

The longtime mission of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in DR Congo leaves a complex legacy, providing safety to displaced populations even as peacekeepers were accused of sexual abuse. While some celebrate their departure, others predict a dangerous security vacuum.

Addis Ababa — Angolan Foreign minister, Tête António, on Wednesday in Ethiopia confirmed that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) already started contributing with contingents to its mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),

He was speaking to the press in Addis Ababa on the sidelines of the 44th ordinary session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU), which began Wednesday.

According to Tête António, South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania are the countries in the region that have launched the deployment of military contingents in the DRC, as part of the decisions taken by the region's heads of state.

The Angolan diplomat said that it was an obligation for SADC member states to contribute contingents to the DRC, as it happened with Mozambique, in fulfilment of a decision by the SADC heads of state and government.

The decision was the result of member countries' concern about the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the eastern region of the DRC, following the resumption of attacks by the 23 March Movement (M23) rebellion, in clear violation of the current ceasefire.

With this initiative, SADC intended to take the lead in efforts to mobilise resources to facilitate peace and security in the region, which includes reviving discussions to establish and operationalise the Peace Fund and involving international partners from different countries.

The SADC mission to DRC (SAMIDRC) was decided December 15, 2023 with the aim to support the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to restore peace and security in the eastern region of the country due to the M23 actions.

SADC considers that the deployment of this mission expresses the commitment of the member states in supporting DRC in the efforts regarding peace and lasting stability, as well as to create a climate favourable to sustainable development and prosperity.

As a regional force, SAMIDRC must collaborate with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo to combat the armed group operating in the eastern part of the country.

The SAMIDRC deployment corresponds to the self-defence principle and collective actions under the SADC Mutual Defence Pact of 2023 which considers that an armed attack perpetrated against a Member State is considered a threat to regional peace and security.

Created in 1992, SADC is made up of 16 countries, namely Mozambique, DRC, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Tanzania, Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and Angola, which currently holds the rotating presidency.

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