March 2, 2024

Tanzania Deploys Troops in DRC to Fight M23 Rebels


The SADC force being deployed in DRC to fight M23 rebels

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In 2013, Tanzania’s heavy bombardment of M23’s bases especially in Rumangabo sent M23 rebels into disarray with their commanders such as Sultani Makenga fleeing  to Uganda

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has confirmed that Tanzania is deploying forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to fight M23 rebels, Chimp Corps report. 

Tanzania’s special combat operators and long-range heavy artillery played  a pivotal role in the defeat of M23 rebels in 2013.

Tanzania’s heavy bombardment of M23’s bases especially in Rumangabo sent M23 rebels into disarray with their commanders such as Sultani Makenga fleeing to Uganda, marking the end of insurgency. 

Others escaped to Rwanda.

On January 4, SADC announced that SADC Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIDRC) was deployed on 15 December 2023 to support the Government of the DRC to restore peace and security in the eastern DRC, which has witnessed an increase in conflicts and instability caused by the resurgence of armed groups.

“As part of the SAMIDRC, a SADC regional force from the Republics of Malawi, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania and elements of the DRC Armed Forces are working with the Congolese Army, the Forces Armees de la République Democratique du Congo (FARDC), in fighting armed groups operating in the Eastern DRC,” said SADC

The deployment of the SAMIDRC was approved by the Extraordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Windhoek, Republic of Namibia, on 08 May 2023 as a regional response to address the unstable and deteriorating security situation prevailing in the Eastern DRC.

Over 200 South African soldiers arrived at Goma Airport in North Kivu on December 27, 2023. 

Officials say SADC intends to deploy at least 7,000 soldiers in DRC. Their mission is to fight and defeat mainly M23 rebels in a space of 12 months. 

Humanitarian situation 

Since the resurgence of the M23 armed group in DRC in 2021, thousands have perished and more than 500,000 people have fled the violence.

SADC said the presence of its forces “demonstrates the commitment of SADC Member States to supporting the DRC in its efforts to achieve lasting peace and stability and, ultimately, create an enabling environment for sustainable development and prosperity.”

The deployment of the SAMIDRC is in accordance with the principle of collective self-defence and collective action outlined in the SADC Mutual Defence Pact (2003). 

The Pact emphasises that; “Any armed attack perpetrated against one of the States Parties shall be considered a threat to regional peace and security and shall be met with immediate collective action”.

The Force Commander for the SAMIDRC is Major General Monwabisi Dyakopu from the Republic of South Africa.

DRC accuses Rwanda of backing M23 rebels, a claim Kigali denies.


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