The political and security situation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, is at the centre of discussions between Foreign Ministers from the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, ICGLR, and the Southern Africa Development Community, SADC, sub-regional groupings who are meeting in the Angolan capital, Luanda.
The two-day joint ministerial meeting, which is sequel to the November 4, 2014 summit in Pretoria, South Africa, comes on the heels of last month’s border clash in which five DRC soldiers were killed by Rwandan troops. An inquest by East African leaders later blamed Rwanda for abducting and killing the soldiers inside its territory; contrary to earlier claims that they were killed in a cross border exchange of fire.
Members of parliament in the Democratic Republic of Congo are demanding the government cut diplomatic ties with its small western neighbour Congo-Brazzaville over the expulsion of tens-of-thousands of its citizens, amid claims of physical and sexual abuse by security personnel.
More than 130,000 citizens of the DRC have been deported from Brazzaville, capital of the country also known as Republic of Congo, since April 4, according to the United Nations. The UN demanded an immediate halt to the expulsions on May 26 saying it was causing a humanitarian crisis, and called on authorities of Congo-Brazzaville to investigate rights abuse allegations.
“The United Nations has received reports of physical abuse, ill treatment, and sexual violence inflicted on the citizens of DRC who are being expelled,” said a joint statement from UN special representatives Martin Kobler and Zainab Hawa Bangu last month.
The UN Security Council decided on Tuesday to slap sanctions on Ugandan rebels Allied Democratic Forces, who are active in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, diplomats said.
The sanctions include a freeze on assets and a travel ban; they were sought by Britain, France and the United States.
The ADF also known as the ADF-Nalu is accused of recruiting child soldiers, sexual abuse of women and children, and taking part in “attacks against MONUSCO peacekeepers,” the UN mission in DR Congo.