A Burundian soldier offload his equipment upon his arrival at Goma airport in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on March 5, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)
GOMA, DR Congo – The first contingent of Burundian soldiers arrived Sunday in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), under the mandate of the regional forces of the East African Community (EAC).
Since the beginning of 2023, fighting has intensified between the M23 and the army in several areas north of Goma, driving thousands of civilians to flee their homes to seek shelter
General Emmanuel Kaputa Kasenga, deputy commander of the East African contingent who greeted the Burundian soldiers arriving at the Goma International Airport, said the Burundian troops are set to end the violence in eastern DRC.
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Last year, the EAC member countries set up a regional force to end the activism of armed groups, particularly the advance of the rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23).
The Burundian troops will join forces with a Kenyan army contingent of about 1,000 men already deployed in and around Goma since last November. The Burundian troops will be deployed in Kitshanga and Kilorirwe, areas occupied by the M23 in North Kivu, as well as Sake, according to local media.
Additional troops, including those from South Sudan and Uganda, are also expected in the DRC.
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Since the beginning of 2023, fighting has intensified between the M23 and the army in several areas north of Goma, driving thousands of civilians to flee their homes to seek shelter.