Top SADC official in DR Congo to oversee mission progress

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Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary Elias Magosi is in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) overseeing operational progress in the establishment of the regional bloc’s mission in the troubled central African country.

The mission, known as SAMIDRC (SADC Mission in DRC), has an offensive mandate to support the country’s government in neutralising negative forces and illegal armed groups in the eastern DRC. It will also operate with FARDC (Forces Armees de la Republic Democratique du Congo) to restore and maintain peace and security to create a secure environment as well as protect civilians and their properties under imminent threats or attacks. It can operate unilaterally and/or together with the Congolese Army (FARDC).

A statement issued by the regional bloc has it Magosi and SAMIDRC Force Commander, South African Major General Monwabisi Dyakopu, visited “properly equipped and ready to execute their mandate” troops.

“As SADC we are determined to restore peace and security in eastern DRC and add to the record of our defence, institutional, socio-economic and peace and security achievements and milestones,” according to the statement.

Troop contributing countries are Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania.

From central Africa, Magosi will proceed to the east coast, specifically Mozambique, to visit the SADC mission – SAMIM – there. Now in its third year of deployment, the mission is staffed by troops, equipment and officers from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, with Rwanda providing a thousand-strong force, reportedly at the request of Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi.