Felix Tshisekedi Has Accused The East African Forces Deployed To Fight Rebels In His Country Of Working With The M23 Rebels

Kagame and Felix Tshisekedi
Kagame and Felix Tshisekedi

Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi on Tuesday gave the biggest warning yet that the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) will have to leave the country by June if they are not effective on the ground.

On a visit to Gaborone in Botswana, where he has pushed for a plan B from the Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC) to send troops, the Congolese head of state accused the EACRF of ‘cohabiting’ with rebels after the regional troops declined to enter combat.

“The head of state said that under the terms of the EACRF’s mandate, by next June, if the results of its mission are not satisfactory, this contingent, which came to the rescue of the DRC, will have to leave Congolese territory for good,” the Congolese presidency said of his meeting with Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi.

“The mandate of EACRF is ending in June, if by that time we assess that the mandate was not fulfilled, we will send those contingents home with honour and thank them for having tried to bring their share of contribution to peace in DRC.”

The EACRF, first deployed in November, includes troops from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan. Their Status of Force Agreement (SOFA), a pact between Kinshasa and the East African Community secretariat, initially gave them a mandate of six months which expired in March. But just what their mandate is has been a bone of contention.


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