News / Africa

DRC to Send Peacekeeping Troops to CAR

Internally displaced children, who are escaping the violence, pose at Bangui's Saint Paul's Church December 17, 2013. Some European countries will send troops to support a French-African mission to restore order in Central African Republic, French Foreign
Internally displaced children, who are escaping the violence, pose at Bangui's Saint Paul's Church December 17, 2013. Some European countries will send troops to support a French-African mission to restore order in Central African Republic, French Foreign
Peter Clottey
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) information minister says 850 peacekeeping troops from the national army, the FARDC, will be sent next week to neighboring Central African Republic (CAR) to help with efforts to stabilize the security situation there.

Lambert Mende says the government in Kinshasa is providing assistance to about 50,000 CAR citizens who have so far crossed the border into the DRC to flee the unrest that has displaced tens of thousands.

He says the administration has told its citizens the decision to send the troops to the CAR is based on a request by the Southern African Development Community, (SADC) to contribute troops to help with peace keeping efforts in CAR, which he says will also benefit the DRC.

“We have been requested to send troops for peacekeeping mission in Central Africa and we did so by sending a battalion of 850 troops,” said Mende. “So we have to work for peace in the Central African Republic. Working for peace in Bangui is working for peace and security in Congo.”

Some civil society groups are objecting to the deployment saying the DRC faces security threats from several armed groups inside the country, who often attack civilians.  But Mende says the DRC has received help from its own neighbors to deal with insurgencies inside its own borders. 

“Our friends [from] SADC in terms of assistance sent troops to defeat the M23. So people are wise and they know that we not only receive, but we have also to give when Africa is in need. Since we received we must also give and the people understand this,” said Mende. 

This is DRC’s first international peacekeeping effort since the country gained independence, according to Mende.

Some observers have said the gesture is a publicity stunt, saying the administration should concentrate on the DRC’s own security needs since its troops are needed to augment United Nations Mission (MONUSCO) peacekeepers in the DRC.

Mende says his government needs to take preemptive measures to ensure the security situation in neighboring CAR does not spill over into the DRC.

“This fire in the Central African Republic, if we don’t [take] care to have it finished it will absolutely land in our Equator Province and our Oriental Province,” said Mende. “So doing this we are taking care of our own security as the DRC. So people must before arguing, read a map of Congo.”

Mende says that it is in the interest of both the DRC and the entire region to ensure peace and stability in the CAR.
Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, Congo's information minister
Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, Congo's information ministeri
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Comments
     
by: véritable Congolais from: UK
December 28, 2013 5:39 AM
I'm not saying that other nations that contribute soldiers in our Country Are short sighted but my point is how are we ( Congolese any other countries if we can't deal if our own problems? We've more that 20 rebel groups and fight these rebels we need troops.

by: Véritable Congolais from: UK
December 26, 2013 8:40 PM
Mande and other senior authorities in DRC are idiots instead of dealing with our own they are sending troops to RCA what's KANAMBE's problem?? Short minded.
In Response

by: Anonymous
December 26, 2013 10:44 PM
Are you suggesting other nations currently contributing soldiers in DRC are short sighted ? Are you telling the public that DRC soldiers are only limited into that 850 in number ?

What I've noticed with in most of DRC people are having a perception that DRC is the richest nation with minerals in the world , and everyone involved in peacekeeping in that country is there only to reap off resources ...

Victim mentality of us Africans is holding the whole continent backward . We assume our leaders are corrupt , and everything outside Africa is perfect .


by: Leko from: Quigney - East London
December 26, 2013 7:34 PM
It makes sense for DRC to send troops in CAR , they all speak same lingo with French soldiers... and eventually they will gain further exposure in combating rebels . If DRC citizens no longer trust our soldiers ( SADC forces ) , its still within their rights to expel them in their country .

I can't wait to see our soldiers back home , this African Unity / brotherhood is practically not working . Let France and America take over in East / Central Africa .

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