The Republic of Burundi through their Chief of Defence Forces starts deploying troops to the East African Regional Force in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
An official statement from the Arusha office of East African Community indicates that Burundi is sending out armed forces in line with the recent roadmap set by the EAC Chiefs of Defence Forces.
All other EAC troops contributing Partner States will shortly deploy within the agreed time frame.
The deployment is part of the implementation of directives by the 20th Extra-Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State held on 4th February 2023, in Bujumbura, Burundi.
Later a meeting of the EAC Chiefs of Defence Forces to that effect convened on February 9, 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya
There was also a Mini-Summit on Peace and Security in Eastern DRC held on the sidelines of the 36th African Union Summit on 17th February 2023, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The timeline of constituting and deploying the EAC Monitoring and Verification Mechanism to observe and verify the ceasefire and withdrawal by all Armed Groups was set for February 28, 2023.
EAC Partner States have since identified members of the EAC Monitoring and Verification Mechanism who will join other existing mechanisms such as the Ad-hoc Verification Mechanism and Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism in Eastern DRC.
The Chairperson of the Summit of EAC Heads of State and President of Burundi, Évariste Ndayishimiye, held a consultative meeting with the Commanders of the Verification Mechanisms, on March 2, 2023 with a view to review the progress.
It was also for setting up a joint verification framework in line with the directive of the Mini-Summit on Peace and Security in Eastern DRC.
The East African Community’s quest to find a sustainable solution to the restoration of peace and security in Eastern DRC has received support from across the globe.
The African Union Peace and Security Council committed funds to support EAC peace-making efforts in Eastern DRC, from the African Union Peace Fund.
Other development partners and global bodies have also committed to continuing supporting the process.
The EAC wants to utilize existing regional and global frameworks to address the security crisis.
The Regional Heads of State are meanwhile calling for immediate ceasefire, withdrawal of all armed groups in eastern DRC and embracing of dialogue.