In its statement published on Saturday, September 14, 2013, at the close of a summit of the Heads of State, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has expressed its concerns at the increasing concentration of Rwandan troops along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) and “expressed the hope that Rwanda is not contemplating to invade“.
The Summmit, held in Namibia was attended by DRC President Joseph Kabila Kabange, Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, and Malawian President Joyce Band. South Africa was by oreign Affairs Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Lesotho, by Prime Minister Motsoahae Thomas Thabane. The Namibian President presided over the summit.
In the statement, SADC leaders expressed their concern “at the deployment of Rwandan troops along the common border” and called on the neighbors of the DRC, presumably referring to Rwanda and Uganda, to “contribute to peace, security and stability of the DRC,” and praised the congolese government troops, FARDC, and the United Nations Intervention Brigade for “continuing to exert military pressure on M23 and other negative forces in eastern DRC”.
The buildup of Rwandan troops along the DRC border and the warnings by SADC leaders may signal a new escalation in the conflict that has plagued eastern DRC for decades. This also happens as the DRC government and Rwandan backed M23 rebels have resumed talks in Kampala. According to sources within M23 rebels, the talks have been not advanced and, after close to a week, the two parties still have to meet for the first time.
©2013 AfroAmerica Network. All Rights Reserved.