LUANDA, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Angola announced Saturday that it would deploy a contingent of troops to support peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following consultations with DRC authorities.
In a statement posted on the Presidency's Facebook account on Saturday, it was revealed that the primary objective of the troops would be to secure the cantonment areas of the March 23 Movement (M23) and to protect members of the ad hoc verification mechanism.
The statement adds that Angola took the initiative to inform regional leaders of this development within the framework of coordination between the Luanda and Nairobi Processes, the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
The Angolan President and Commander-in-Chief of the Angolan Armed Forces will also request authorization from the National Assembly to send the contingent, according to the statement.
This move follows decisions taken by mini-summits on the peace and security process in the DRC, in which Luanda serves as mediator under the "Luanda Process" framework.
During a tripartite summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in July 2022, a roadmap was approved that included the establishment of a Verification Mechanism led by an Angolan general officer.
The mechanism will investigate reciprocal accusations between the DRC and Rwanda, as well as allegations of border violations.
The DRC has accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 movement, a rebel group that has been accused of committing atrocities against civilians in several areas, but Kigali strongly denied these accusations. ■