The AU and the EAC signed a grant agreement of $2 million in facilitating the operation of the EAC-RF at the inaugural Quadripartite Summit held in Luanda, Angola, Tuesday, June 27, 2023.
The first Quadripartite Summit organised over the security crisis in eastern DR Congo took note “with concern the lack of predictable, adequate and sustainable funding” for regional efforts aimed at resolving the crisis.
In this regard, a communique released at the end notes, the Summit directed the AU Commission in coordination with members of the Quadripartite to undertake resource mobilization for the efficient and effective implementation of the Comprehensive Joint Master Plan involving the Luanda roadmap and Nairobi peace process.
The leaders from four regional blocs of the African continent: the EAC, ECCAS, ICGLR and SADC, expressed appreciation to the government Angola for hosting the inaugural Quadripartite Summit.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the Quadripartite Summit by EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki and the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Bankole Adeoye.
The leaders also welcomed the announcement by the government of Gabon of $500,000 as part of contributions towards peace efforts in eastern DR Congo; and appealed “to AU Member States to voluntarily contribute financially to peace processes in Africa.”
The leaders applauded Angola and Senegal for their financial support of Euros 1 million, each, to the EAC-led Nairobi Process.
The leaders decided to institutionalize the Quadripartite Summit, as a platform for harmonization and consultations and welcomed the offer by the government of Burundi to host the second Quadripartite Summit in Bujumbura, Burundi. No date was immediately given.
The EAC regional force, or EAC-RF, comprising troops from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan, was deployed to eastern DR Congo in November 2022, with a mandate of supporting peace efforts, especially securing withdrawal of the M23 rebel group.
It occupied various positions vacated by the M23 rebels in North Kivu province. Eastern DR Congo has remained volatile for nearly three decades.
The vast region is home to more than 130 local and foreign armed groups accused of various atrocities and human rights violations.
In the past, multiple interventions especially by the UN’s largest peacekeeping missions failed to end the decades of violence.
In April 2022, Congolese armed groups that participated in the first phase of dialogues in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, noted that the presence and operations of foreign militia forces was a threat to peace in the region. They were referring to, among others, the FDLR-FOCA, an UN-sanctioned genocidal group based in eastern DR Congo for close to three decades.
The FDLR was formed by the masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. It is, together with its splinter groups, at the heart of the insecurity affecting eastern DR Congo and the region. The Rwandan genocidal militia, is now reportedly openly incorporated into the Congolese national army, and has bases in North Kivu and South Kivu provinces.