In this May 24, 2022 photo, people walk on the road near Kibumba, north of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, as they flee fighting between Congolese forces and M23 rebels in North Kivu. (MOSES SAWASAWA / AP)
DAR ES SALAAM – The East African Community and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Friday signed an agreement for the deployment of an EAC joint regional force to fight “negative forces”in the bloc's newest member.
A statement issued late Friday by the EAC headquarters in Tanzania's northern city of Arusha said the agreement was signed by the EAC secretary general, Peter Mathuki, and DRC's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Christophe Lutundula Apala Pen'Apala, and witnessed by DRC President Felix Tshisekedi in DRC's capital Kinshasa.
The agreement envisages an initial deployment of the EAC joint regional force for a period of six months after which the deployment will be evaluated.
Peter Mathuki, Secretary General, East African Community
Mathuki said the agreement is in support of the implementation of the decision of the 22nd summit of the EAC heads of state to deploy a joint regional force to fight the “negative forces” in the DRC.
"The agreement envisages an initial deployment of the EAC joint regional force for a period of six months after which the deployment will be evaluated," said Mathuki.
President Tshisekedi thanked the EAC for the deployment of the joint regional force, saying that instability in his country has been ongoing for over two decades.
ALSO READ: DRC welcomes deployment of regional military force
"My highest wish is for the regional force to be successful and allow the country to turn over and focus on the economic and social growth of the country that will see it transform and shine in front of the world," said Tshisekedi.