President Hage Geingob reiterated his government’s decision to not deploy troops to DRC
President Hage Geingob has reiterated his government’s decision to not deploy troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) peacekeeping mission.
Last week, the SADC and the DRC government signed an agreement in Kinshasa for the deployment of troops to help quell the scourge of armed groups, including the M23 rebels, in the eastern part of the mineral-rich Central African country.
The decision to deploy SADC troops was reached at the SADC Summit that was held in Windhoek in May 2023.
“The DRC issue is still outstanding. The DRC is changing from having these partners; East Africa has now been asked to leave, and SADC is supposed to come in. I said we are not going to send troops; we don’t have the means for that. But South Africa and them have agreed to send the troops,” said Geingob during his end-of-year press briefing on Monday.
He further said: “Those who are going to provide troops are ready to do that, but we pledge to support financially where we can”.
During his time as the chairperson of the SADC Organ Troika, the head of State said he held consultations with United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres on the situation in the eastern DRC.
“As a member of the African Union Peace and Security Council, and as the chairperson of the SADC Organ Troika, I participated in the Peace and Security Council meeting to bring an end to the conflict in the DRC,” Geingob said while giving an account of progress made by his administration over the past 12 months.
It is reported that the East African Community Regional Force, which was deployed in North Kivu and Ituri, is expected to withdraw from the DRC.
The regional force was deployed toward the end of last year to combat the rebel insurgency.
The United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the DRC, also known as Monusco, last week announced in a statement that it has signed an agreement with the Congolese government to withdraw from that country after 24 years of presence.
This follows calls by the Congolese government, including president Félix Tshisekedi, for the withdrawal of Monusco, starting in December 2023.