EastAfrica Community Regional Force (EACRF) troops Friday took over the strategic territory of Rumagambo, 42 kilometers North of Goma town, after the withdrawal of M23 rebels.
The occasion was witnessed by a delegation from the Ad Hoc Committee and the Extended Joint Verification Mechanism led by Deputy Force Commander Brigadier General Emmanuel Kaputa.
Kaputa said that the takeover of Rumagambo signifies yet another critical milestone in the ongoing efforts to bring peace and stability to Eastern DRC.
He reiterated the need for all parties in the conflict to embrace the cease-fire as outlined in the Luanda Communiqué of 23rd November 2022 and the subsequent deliberations agreed upon from the Nairobi process.
“There must be an immediate cessation of hostilities against all civilians. They have nothing to do with the ongoing conflict. I would like to urge all parties in the conflict to embrace the ceasefire for the success of these processes and we appreciate the efforts shown by all parties in the quest for peace in this region,” said Brigadier General Kaputa.
He added that the protection of civilians remains a priority for the EACRF and no threat upon them shall be condoned, further appealing to humanitarian agencies and the local leadership to enhance support in the resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
M23 undertook a well-coordinated, sequenced and systematic withdrawal from occupied areas of Kibumba on December 23 2022 and has committed to fully comply with the Luanda communiqué on total withdrawal from areas under their control to the designated areas.
EACRF impresses on all the armed groups to lay down arms as agreed upon in the Nairobi Process and the force remains committed to ensuring the return of IDs, the Protection of Civilians, and the opening of the Main Supply Routes to facilitate the movement of goods and services for socioeconomic prosperity.
“The regional force remains committed to executing its mandate, respecting the DRC constitution and her sovereignty and operating under International Humanitarian Law.”
M23 has committed to a coordinated, sequenced and systematic withdrawal from Rumagambo, Kishishe and other areas within Eastern DRC with EACRF poised to take over and enhance security in vacated areas.
This is a critical milestone in the implementation of the Luanda Communique. EACRF calls for continued collaboration among the locals, state and non-state actors in the ongoing peace and stability efforts in Eastern DRC.
Regional countries have contributed troops to the DRC to contain MRC and other groups operating there.