Angolan president, DRC counterpart address situation in eastern region

Angolan head of State João Lourenço Wednesday in Luanda discussed with his counterpart from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Félix Antoine Tshisekedi the security and peace process in the Eastern region of this country, which faces an internal armed conflict.

Félix Tshisekedi, who had been in Luanda for a few hours, discussed with President João Lourenço, among the matters, the cantonment of the M23 forces, according to the understandings reached as part of the mediation exercised by the Angolan Head of State.

The Angolan mediation of the conflict in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) resulted in a ceasefire agreement in that region, since March 7 this year.

The Angolan National Assembly approved last month, at the request of the President of the Republic, unanimously, the deployment of a contingent of 500 soldiers from the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) to the DRC for a 12-month period.

The staff integrates a battalion of the FAA and their respective components, as well as financial means estimated at 11.2 billion kwanzas, within the framework of the budget of Defence and Security sector.

A contingent of the Angolan army should secure the cantonment areas of the M23 rebels and protect the members of the ad hoc verification mechanism, following the ceasefire between government troops and the rebels.

At a mini-summit on peace and security in the Great Lakes region, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on February 17, 2023, the African Heads of State and Government mandated" Angola, in coordination with the former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kennyatta, a facilitator appointed by the East Africa Commission, to hold contacts with the leadership of the March 23 Movement (M23) rebel group.

The M23 was created in 2012 when DRC soldiers revolted over the loss of power of their leader, Bosco Ntaganda, accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of war crimes and for alleged breaches of the peace agreement of March 23, 2009, which gives the name to the movement.

Source: Angola Press News Agency