DRC seeks assistance from EU troops


European troops could be back on Congolese soil for the first time since 2006 as President Felix Tshisekedi has approached Brussels to help train Congolese armed forces.

Kinshasa seeks to deliver a final blow to rebels wreaking havoc in its east.

On Tuesday, the EU’s envoy to Kinshasa confirmed the news and held a meeting with Congo’s defense minister to iron out details of the deployment.

Congo was also in talks with Uganda to deploy a joint force against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels who operate out of North Kivu, Uganda’s government-owned New Vision reported Friday.

The United Nations says the group killed 851 people in eastern Congo last year alone.

Ugandan troops have been in and out of Congo in recent years, sometimes without Kinshasa’s permission.

Congo is seeking to eliminate dozens of armed groups that roam its east and introduced martial law in North Kivu and Ituri provinces at the beginning of May.

Army officers took over from civilian governors under what Tshisekedi termed as a ‘state of siege’.

The deployment of EU personnel and Ugandan troops will lead to further militarization of the region, where thousands of UN peacekeepers are already also based.

Several United Nations reports have also accused Rwanda and Burundi of maintaining a military presence in eastern Congo.

Suzan O/AFN

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