DR Congo - Rwanda: South African Development Community (SADC) Commits to Deploy Troops in Eastern DRC

Felix Tshisekedi arrives in Windhoek, Namibia, on May 8, 2023

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The South African Development Community (SADC) has confirmed the decision to send troops to the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The troops will be sent to fight against the M23 rebels, accused of serving as the cover of the invasion of the North-Kivu province in eastern DRC by Rwandan troops. The decision was made following a summit held in Windhoek, Namibia on Monday, May 8, 2023.

The meeting was attended by presidents of the countries forming SADC.  DRC President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, current SADC President, arrived in Namibia on  Sunday evening  on May 7, 2023 to take part in this extraordinary summit.

The extraordinary summit was opened by Namibian President Hage Geingob and included South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Congolese president Felix Tshisekedi, and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan. Angola, Malawi and Zambia were represented by high ranking government ministers. The meeting was also preceded by a meeting by security and defence ministers.

Members of the Congolese government and the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) were also invited to participate to this summit. These include Christophe Lutundula, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi, Regional Integration minister, and FARDC Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Christian Tshiwewe Songesha.

Regional Integration minister Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi was instrumental in the discussions, as he has been a major actor in the past peace processes in Eastern DRC, starting in 2000s, when he was DRC Minister of Foreign Affairs. His return in the DRC government at this critical moment, given his experience, has been hailed by those following the peace processes.

In 2007-2009, he led the Rome and Kisangani process negotiations between the DRC Government and the Rwandan political organization, National Democratic Congress (NDC), a coalition between two Rwandan political organizations, Rally for Unity and Democracy (RUD -Urunana) and Rally of the Rwandan People (RPR - Inkeragurabara) (see here: Rome, Kasiki, Kisangani).

Community Sant-Egidio, a Roman catholic  association based in Rome, Italy,  served as the main facilitator, with the representatives of Norvegian SIK and Eglise du Christ au Congo assisting.

At the conclusion of the meeting, an official statement and press release was read affirming that SADC summit "approved the deployment of forces" to "support the DRC in restoring peace and security in eastern DRC".
The force is expected to work with the United Nations peace keeping mission, private military contractors and soldiers from the East African Community (EAC) already on the ground.


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 Rwanda must "cease the support for M23" and "withdraw its troops from the DRC",  SADC Summit Concluded.

Rwandan troops, under the cover of M23 rebels, have been responsible for the humanitarian crisis in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), for more than a decade, including systematic massacres of civilians, especially children and young boys and teenagers, destructions of homes, crops and infrastructures and lootings of minerals and other natural resources. Since the beginning, AfroAmerica Network has reported, based on the sources within the Rwandan Government, that M23 rebels were just a cover of the Rwandan troops.

During the summit, DRC government and military officials reiterated the accusations of the Rwanda government and military of invading the DRC under the cover of the M23 rebels . Although the Rwanda government has repeatedly denied the accusations, history proofs on the ground have confirmed the claim by DRC government (see DRC-Uganda-Rwanda - Update: Rwandan Military Under Cover of Congolese M23 Rebels in Eastern DRC, Blame on FDLR and RUD-Urunana Rwandan Rebels, and Coup Attempts). The Rwandan government and military leaders have continued to deny it. Even DRC President Felix Tshisekedi initially appeared to hesitate to acknowledge the fact, despite multiple undeniable proofs. 

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, after mostly veiled condemnations of the Rwandan government and troops, finally openly condemned the Rwandan government and  the dictator Paul Kagame in late November and early December 2022,  urging the Congolese people to have empathy for and support the oppressed Rwandan people,  but  to actively target the Rwandan oligarch Paul Kagame, calling it a demoniac system,  and his evil minority oligarchy oppressing the Rwandan people (see here DR Congo: President Felix Tshisekedi Urges Congolese to Have Empathy for Rwandans, and Rather Target Rwandan Dictator Paul Kagame and His Diabolic Oligarchy).

 The world, including the United Nations and the US Government have also openly acknowledged that it is the Rwandan government troops that have invaded the DRC under the cover of M23 rebels.

In the Congolese province of North Kivu, the M23 has seized large territories rich in minerals since November 2021, and continues to advance and massacre people despite a roadmap for peace concluded in Luanda, in Angola, in July 2022 and several meetings by the East African Community (EAC) and the presence of the EAC troops. Activists, local organizations, and media have reported that Rwandan troops, under the cover of M23 rebels, have been responsible for the humanitarian crisis in eastern Congo.

DRC parliament has also approved the 'sending of troops to assist the DRC in restoring peace and security in Eastern DRC.

The Windhoek, Namibia summit comes after  an EAC Summit held in Bujumbura, Burundi. The EAC Summit was attended by UN Secretary General Antonio Guteres.

During a press conference in Bujumbura on May 5, 2023,  Antonio Guteres didn't hesitate to reinforce the fact that M23 is a terrorist organization supported by a foreign government. He said during the press conference: "We are faced with a very complex situation. We are faced with conflicts which have a distant origin between communities and which, sometimes through external manipulations, have had increased difficulties in living together. This has generated the development of a large number of militia forces, armed [groups], which play a huge destabilizing role. Then there is terrorism, terrorism which has an international origin - the ADF which commits absolutely horrible acts and, more recently, the M23 attacks - the M23 offensive which has led to the displacement of a large number of people and which naturally caused enormous suffering to the Congolese people."

The question now is: How is the Rwandan government, accused of being behing M23 rebels,  going to react?


@AfroAmerica Network 2023