Congolese protest against East African force

Congolese protest against East African force

A coalition of civil societies in the Democratic Republic of Congo has held a protest in Goma calling for the exit of a combined East African force from the east of the country over its failure to deal with the M23 rebels.

In November last year, Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan sent troops to DR Congo, under the banner of the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF), to try and disarm the rebel group and bring peace.

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The M23 has continued to hold some towns and villages in North Kivu province. Seven people were killed earlier this month in the area.

Last week, DR Congo spokesperson Patrick Muyaya confirmed to the BBC that his government would not be renewing the EACRF mandate.

He said that Congolese troops would do a better job adding that the EACRF should leave at the end of the mandate in December.

In a recent statement the East African Community said its forces were dedicated to working closely with the government enabling the safe return of internally displaced persons to their homes and enhancing the overall protection of civilians.

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Goma has also seen deadly protests against the UN mission in the country.

More than 6.2 million people have been forced from their homes in the east of the country and are living elsewhere in DR Congo, and another one million have sought asylum mostly within Africa, according to the UN’s refugee agency.

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