SADC troika summit defends military mission in DRC

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has defended its military mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) amid resistance from Rwanda.

Earlier this month, Rwanda’s foreign minister, Vincent Biruta, wrote to African Union (AU) Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat objecting against the AU’s support to troops from the SADC, saying it would exacerbate the conflict.

Rwanda accused the regional force of fighting alongside the DRC army and other coalition armed groups, which include Rwandan Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels. FDLR is one of the largest armed groups active in the DRC.

On Saturday SADC heads convened in Zambia for an extraordinary organ troika summit, where they hit back at Rwanda.

Vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah attended the summit on behalf of Namibia.

Rwanda wants an end to the SADC Mission in the DRC (SamiDRC).

“The summit disapproved of the contents of the correspondence from the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations and African Union Commission concerning support to SamiDRC,” the statement from the summit reads.

The SADC leaders further defended the importance of the military mission in the DRC.

“The summit reiterated that the deployment of SamiDRC is to restore the peace and security of the DRC, and that it is aligned to the SADC Treaty, the SADC protocol on politics, defence and security cooperation, and the SADC mutual defence pact,” the statement reads.

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