Yaounde, Cameroon – (African Boulevard News) – The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is turning to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for help after being left disappointed by the regional force deployed by the East African Community (EAC). Kinshasa seeks to regain control of the volatile eastern provinces of North and South Kivu, where various armed groups have been terrorizing the population for years.
According to intelligence reports, the Congolese government has grown disillusioned with the EAC regional force and is now turning to SADC for assistance. The EAC’s force was deployed in May 2022 to help stabilize the region and allow for the safe repatriation of Congolese refugees and IDPs. However, the force has been unable to make a significant impact on the security situation in the region.
The DRC has historically looked to SADC for military support. In 1998, Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe aided Congolese forces in fighting off rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda. In 2013, South Africa provided troops to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC. The DRC’s decision to turn to SADC again underscores the lack of confidence in regional security forces.
Experts believe that the EAC force’s inability to make headway is due to a combination of factors, including a lack of resources, unclear mandate, and the complexity of the situation on the ground. The DRC’s military is also viewed as ill-equipped and corrupt, making it difficult to work alongside regional forces.
“The EAC force has been ineffective in dealing with the security situation in the region. It is clear that the DRC government needs to explore other options, and SADC is the logical choice,” said Dr. Ismail Rashid, an African security expert.
SADC is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising 16 southern African countries. It has a standby force of around 22,000 troops that can be deployed in times of crisis. The organization also has a reputation for being more effective than other regional security initiatives.
The DRC’s desire to regain control of the eastern provinces is driven by economic and strategic considerations. The region is rich in minerals, and controlling it would help boost the country’s economy. It is also strategically important as it borders Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi.
In conclusion, with the EAC regional force failing to make an impact, Kinshasa’s decision to turn to SADC for help is not surprising. The DRC’s longstanding relationship with SADC and the organization’s reputation for effectiveness make it a logical choice. However, the situation on the ground is complex, and a lasting solution will require political and military action.