EAC regional force mandate extended to September 8

The member states of the East African Community (EAC) decided today, Wednesday May 31, at the 21st EAC summit, to renew the mandate of the EAC regional force in the DRC until September 8, 2023. This mandate is due to expire on Thursday June 01, 2023.

Two heads of state, William Ruto of Kenya and Evariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi, who is the EAC’s current president, took part in the 21st EAC summit, which ended on Wednesday in Bujumbura (Burundi).

Three days of work were enough to thoroughly assess the conduct of military operations carried out by the EAC regional force in North Kivu.

The summit also decided to pre-canton the M23 rebels in Rumangabo (North Kivu) under the supervision of the regional force facilitator and the FARDC. In addition, the departure of the EAC force may be brought forward following an evaluation scheduled for June 15, according to the final communiqué issued at the Bujumbura summit.

On Sunday, the military chiefs of staff of the member states and their experts examined the current situation on the ground with a fine-tooth comb.

On Monday, the defense ministers met on the same security issue to propose new political orientations for the new mandate of the regional force, before the delegations of the heads of the member states endorsed the extension.

Only the Heads of State of Burundi and Kenya took part in the meeting. Rwanda was represented by its Prime Minister, Tanzania by its Vice-President, Uganda by a Minister of State, South Sudan by two Ministers, and the DRC by the Minister of State for Regional Integration, Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi.

Since their arrival in the DRC, the troops of the EAC regional force have not attacked the M23, even though, according to the Congolese government, their mandate is offensive.