Military chiefs from member states of the East African Community (EAC) met in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Monday, June 6, to discuss the constitution of a regional force to fight local and foreign armed groups in the eastern DR Congo.
The meeting brought together military chiefs from the EAC countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and South Sudan. Gen. Celestin Mbala, the DR Congo Chief of Army Staff, was the chairman of the meeting.
“It is based on the recommendations of the conclave of EAC heads of state in Nairobi that the president of DR Congo charged me to invite you to this strategic meeting to put in the application the resolutions adopted,” Gen. Mbala declared at the opening of the meeting.
Gen. Robert Kibochi, the chief of the Kenyan Defence Forces, noted that “the security and stability in eastern DR Congo are vital to regional security.”
He stressed that regional security would provide an encouraging environment where all other aspects of regional integration would prosper.
“We must collectively, as a region, support the efforts to meet the security challenges and re-establish peace and stability in eastern DR Congo to permit our people to exploit all the potentials offered by regional integration,” Gen. Kibochi said.
The Kenyan Defence chief, who doubles as President of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Forces of the EAC member states, also insisted on the pertinence of a precise coordination mechanism of the future force.
Earlier this year, the conclave on security in eastern DR Congo decided on the constitution of a regional force to assist in containing and, if necessary, combat opposing forces in the region.
Participants at the conclave had started the process by integrating the competent sub-regional authorities.
DR Congo shall lead the regional force.
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