Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dispatch of soldiers to DRC, the government seeks for parliament approval

Tanzania government is seeking for the Parliament approval before it finally sends its army soldiers to join others in a peace keeping mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Benard Membe said last week  in Dar es Salaam. Membe made a clarification during a press conference on which he took time to explain about the current government’s stand on its border conflict with Malawian government and thereby this reporter asked him a question to clarify the DRC peace settlement issue into details. In his explanation, he said that, his ministry had planned to meet the Parliamentary Accounts Committee on Defense and Security matters led by former Prime Minister and an MP for Monduli Edward Lowasa in order to discuss the matter and send a request to seek for the approval from the Parliament which starts its budget session next week. However, he noted that, Tanzania has to participate in this operation whatsoever and would be required to dispatch the first batch of 850 soldiers to fight the rebel group of M23 who have become troublesome in eastern part of DRC, and added that, this is to abide by the UN resolutions. “As other SADC countries have agreed to send their troupes to DRC, my office is going to discuss the matter with the Parliamentary Accounts Committee on Defense and Security to get an approval from the Parliament so that Tanzania may join other 6 SADC nations peace keeping force in this operation”  he affirmed. The UN Security Council last week passed a resolution No. 2098 which requires the deployment of soldiers in DRC in order to curb with the rebel groups which have been now and then causing havoc and disunity among the innocent civilians living in eastern DRC. A spokesperson from Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) Colonel Kapambala Mgawe said Tanzania troupes are ready at any time to join the operations and are ready prepared for the mission. He said the TPDF soldiers would join with other s from Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa and other SADC nations. He said that they are waiting for the United Nations to arrange for day to start the operation ion straight as it is the body which is going to finance the operation whose mission is to restore peace in a war torn area which has become notorious with rebel groups for quite a long time now. 

Meanwhile, recent reports from New York says that  the Security Council members met on Thursday this week  whereby it was agreed to deploy about 3,100 soldiers in a war torn area mostly in Goma Town which h is located in Kivu estate which has become a centre of the rebel groups of M23. The troupe to work under the auspices of the UN would be apportioned in three different battalion, one battalion would be concerned with the direct fighting, the other would be special for air force dealing with the jet fighters, whereas the third battalion would be composed of soldiers deployed for investigating the conduct of the rebel soldiers. For couples of years now, the eastern part of DRC has not been having peace  due to the emergence of various military soldiers who form rebel groups rampaging lives of the civilians now and then and the most notorious groups of all is that one which calls themselves M23 rebels. The recently issued UN report condemned two countries in great lake regions of Uganda and Rwanda that they are directly supporting the rebel groups in eastern DRC. However, the two countries refuted the allegations. This will be the second time for Tanzania troupes to be sent to restore peace in another country. In 2008, one battalion of Tanzanian soldiers were sent in Anjouan, Comoro Island which had apparently separated with Comoro and this was in line with the implementation of the Africa Union resolutions.

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