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EAC Presidents order military operation in DRC during State House meeting

The presidents went through a detailed brief on the military efforts in the conflict region presented by the Kenya Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi

EAC Presidents order military operation in DRC during State House meeting

President Uhuru Kenyatta convened the 3rd Conclave of the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State on the peace and security situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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The meeting was attended by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, South Sudan’s Salva Kiir Mayardit, DRC’s Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, and Burundi’s Evariste Ndayishimiye.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu was represented by High Commissioner to Kenya Ambassador John Steven Simbachawene.

During the meeting, the Heads of State deliberated on the security situation in the eastern DRC and on measures to promote peace, stability and development.

They committed to a swift and lasting solution to the conflict in the in the North and South Kivu as well as Ituri Provinces in DRC.

The presidents went through a detailed brief on the military efforts in the conflict region presented by the Kenya Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Committee of East African Community Chiefs of Defence Forces.

The Chiefs of Defence Forces of all the 7 countries of the EAC partner States also attended the meeting.

They discussed the threat analysis, Concept of Operations (CONOPs), Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), Rules of Engagement (ROE) and other legal and technical regulations to facilitate the operationalization of the Regional Force and its various operational arms.

The Heads of State accepted and adopted the CONOPs, SOFA and ROE as presented by the Chiefs of Defence Forces for immediate implementation.

They instructed that the Regional Force should in cooperation with the military and administrative forces of the DRC seek to stabilize and secure the peace in the DRC.

The Regional Force should also cooperate in the implementation of the disarmament and demobilization process.

The Regional Force will be constituted as an East African Community force under the EAC Protocol on Peace and Security and the EAC Treaty Article 124 on regional peace and security and Article 125 on cooperation in defence.

The presidents received a brief on the political track of the Nairobi process which detailed actions and activities that have been undertaken since the last convening of the second Conclave.

The brief also detailed consultations with various armed and rebel groups within the DRC as a follow-up to the discussion undertaken by the DRC with the rebel groups in Nairobi.

They directed that an immediate ceasefire should be enforced and cessation of hostilities should commence immediately, including withdrawal from recently taken positions.

In doing so, the political process should be intensified by all parties in order to allow the citizens of the DRC to feel safe and secure and be able to pick up and continue their respective social, cultural and economic activities.

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