EAC LEADERS AGREE TO DEPLOY FORCE TO RESTORE PEACE AND SECURITY IN EASTERN DR CONGO

President Yoweri Museveni together with other East African heads of state have agreed to deploy a joint military force to stabilise -a hitherto volatile situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Led by Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta who is he current chair of EAC the regional leaders activated he East African standby force to deal with he l the violence that has led to wanton blood letting in the areas of Goma in Eastern DRC Congo. “The deployed EAC regional force should, in cooperation with the military and administrative forces of the DRC, seek to stabilise and secure the peace in the DRC,” a joint communique released by the leaders reads in part .

At heir conclave summit on DRC, the EAC leaders who included President Yoweri Museveni and Kagame of Rwanda agreed that a regional force will be constituted as an East African Community force under the EAC Protocol on Peace and Security and the EAC Treaty Article 124 on regional peace and security and Article 125 on cooperation in defence.

“The regional force received  its operational mandate and detailed its operational structure for the  heads of state. In attendance at the brief was the Executive Secretary of the EAC.” This was after they received a detailed brief from the Chief of Defence Forces of Kenya, General Robert Kibochi, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Committee of East African Community Chiefs of Defence Forces.

The brief originated from the regional army chiefs and detailed the -status of the forces agreement, rules of engagement among others. The heads of state accepted and adopted the concept of operations, status of forces agreement and rules of engagement  as presented by the Chiefs of Defence Forces for immediate implementation. In doing so, the heads of state instructed that the regional force should in cooperation with the military and administrative forces of the DRC seek to stabilize and secure the peace an in the DRC. The regional force should also cooperate in implementation of the disarmament and demobilization process,” the joint communique said.

The Presidents resolved that an immediate ceasefire should be enforced and cessation of hostilities should commence immediately, including withdrawal from recently taken positions. “ In doing so, the political process should be intensified by all parties in order to allow the citizens of the DRC feel safe and secure and be able to pick up and continue their respective social, cultural and economic activities.”

“The conclave agreed and reinforced that trust and confidence-building, cessation of hostilities, unconditional ceasefire, participation in the political processes in the country, prioritization and participation in the country’s development, citizenship, presence of foreign negative elements, fate of combatants during reintegration and status of refugees and internally displaced persons are among critical issues that require concerted, urgent and durable resolution.”

Other presidents in aendance included Salva Kiir Mayardit(South Sudan), Felix Tshisekedi(DRC) and Evariste Ndayishimiye(Burundi) . Tanzania was represented by the country’s High Commissioner to Kenya, Amb. Dr.John Steven Simbachawene.

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