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New African force to deploy at Rwanda border
March 5, 2013, 1:31 pm

Zuma joined other African leaders and the UN in signing the DRC Peace Framework [Getty Images]

Zuma joined other African leaders and the UN in signing the DRC Peace Framework [Getty Images]

South Africa’s deputy minister of international relations and cooperation, Ebrahim Ebrahim, yesterday highlighted African and UN efforts to cement a peace framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Last week, South African President Jacob Zuma joined several African neighbours in signing the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and region.

The peace document also includes provisions for a security plan, including peace enforcement, for the troubled Eastern Provinces.

Any new force will have to get a Security Council mandate before being deployed

The existing UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO with 19,000 troops has been unable to end the fighting in DRC and has been criticised by other African countries.

Ebrahim explained that the Framework allows for a ‘regional oversight mechanism’ to review implementation of the commitments made by the signatories.

The UN, African Union, Southern African Development Community and the International Conference on the Great Lakes will act as the mechanism’s “guarantors”.

“This international force will be deployed along the border with Rwanda to neutralise all armed groups in the area: aside from the M23, also the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda), the ADF-Nalu (Democratic Alliance-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda) and the Burundian FNL (National Liberation Force),” Ebrahim said in a press release.

The neighbouring nations and international community will also be called to monitor and verify the peace process in the territory through a special envoy to be named by the UN.

Source: Agencies