Former combatants seemingly back in action in DRC


The emergence of former M23 (Mouvement du 23 Mars) combatants in violence linked to armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is condemned by the four guarantor institutions of the country’s peace, security and co-operation framework (PSCF).

The African Union (AU), International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the United Nations (UN) want the former rebel fighters to “definitively cease all hostilities”.

A statement on the SADC website has it the “resurgence of attacks” against FARDC (Forces Armées de la Republique Democratique du Congo) impacts on civilians as another contributor to violence in eastern DRC.

The Guarantor Institutions “deplore” activities of armed groups “continuing to fuel a climate of mistrust between the countries and populations of the region, hindering collective efforts towards a Great Lakes region free of the horrors of war and resolutely focused on sustainable development”.

They call, the statement said, on stakeholders to maintain “promising momentum” characterising relations between countries of the region in recent years and to prioritise regional frameworks for resolving differences. This is with a view to eradicating the threat posed by armed groups through a comprehensive approach, including non-military measures aimed at tackling the root causes of instability.

Welcoming ongoing consultations, the Guarantor Institutions call for dialogue and sustained efforts to strengthen trust among all stakeholders and encourage them to mobilise existing bilateral and regional mechanisms and frameworks including the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM). This was launched in Goma 10 years ago and sees senior military personnel from ICGLR countries monitor and investigate security incidents.