The United Nations has agreed to a proposal by the East African Community (EAC) to fund the latter’s military mission in DR Congo, according to reports.
The EAC Regional Force (EACRF) in eastern DR Congo is funded by partner states in addition to donations from some partners.
Speaking to journalists after a meeting with the UN Security Council, in New York, which was also attended by the EACRF commander, EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki said the arrangement could be finalised in the near future after the withdrawal of UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO) by December, The EastAfrican reports.
Mathuki’s office said the meeting with the Security Council “deliberated on extension of financial and technical support to EACRF.”
“What has happened is that the UN Security Council is very keen and appreciative of the role of the EAC in supporting the security of the eastern DRC,” Mathuki was quoted as saying.
“They have agreed to work a mechanism that will support our troops in DRC, and they said as MONUSCO closes down [or] reduces their numbers in DRC, they will wish to strengthen the EACRF.”
“We have proposed funding the EACRF, and the UN Security Council said they are meeting in December which we will be able to determine how much they can draw down from Monusco and how much they will be able to get to fund the EACRF,” said Mathuki.
The EAC regional force was deployed to eastern DR Congo in November 2022 with a mandate of restoring peace and security and observing a ceasefire between the Congolese army and the M23 rebel group in North Kivu province.
The regional force, with troops from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan, currently occupies the rebels’ vacated positions.
Early September, EAC leaders extended the regional force’s mandate by three months until December 8.
Eastern DR Congo, which is home to more than 130 local and foreign armed groups, has been volatile for nearly three decades.
Multiple interventions, including one of the UN’s longest and largest peacekeeping missions, MONUSCO, failed to end the decades of violence. The 25-year-old UN mission in the country has been the target of demonstrations for failing to end the insecurity.