Reports emerging from Windhoek, Namibia indicate that Southern African countries have agreed to deploy forces in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, infested by hundreds of armed groups.
SADC said in a statement released on Monday from the Namibian capital Windhoek that the decision was reached following talks attended by several heads of states, including DRC’s President Felix Tshisekedi, his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa and ministers from the regional group.
However, the meeting did not give the numbers to be deployed nor a timeline for the deployment.
SADC troops will add to an East African regional military force that has taken over some areas previously occupied by the M23 militia since December 2022, but has so far failed to put a stop to the insurgency.
The East African Community force draws on troops from Burundi, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan.
The M23 militia has captured swathes of territory in North Kivu since taking up arms again in late 2021 after being dormant since 2013.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the rebel campaign has displaced over one million people since its inception in 2012.