On Friday February 9, 2024 the government of the DR Congo and UN mission force in DR Congo, MONUSCO have confirmed their determination to work together to fight off against the invasion of the Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF) under the cover of M23 rebels. MONUSCO reiterated its commitment to support the FARDC in the protection of the city of Sake in Masisi and the city of Goma. The Operation of FARDC and MONUSCO, known as Springbok, will also be supported by the forces of Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The two cities have been under threat of the Rwandan Defense Forces as the proxy M23 rebels have been making advances, in North Kivu.
According to MONUSCO, the Springbok ground military operations will be carried out jointly between FARDC and MONUSCO and cover the territories of Masisi and Nyiragongo. The operations special forces will also strategically and tactically defend the cities of Sake and Goma, North Kivu, and reinforce the security near the border with Rwanda.
On Friday 9, 2024 Jean-Pierre Bemba, the DRC vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Defense travelled to North-Kivu, and went to Goma, to meet with the Acting Force Commander of MONUSCO and align on focused on the coordination of actions against the M23 as part of Operation Springbok.
In referring to the operation and the help from both SADC forces and MONUSCO, Jean-Pierre Bemba declared on Friday 9, 2024 during the visit to Goma, that “The Congolese government is determined to liberate all areas controlled by the M23 and, hence, to restore the authority of the State over the entire national territory.”
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During his trip, Jean Pierre Bemba visited Goma and other area to assess the security situation in North-Kivu province, following the on-going intensification of the clashes between the FARDC and the Rwandan Defence Forces, under the cover of M23 rebels.
Accompanied by the Chief of General Staff of the FARDC, Army General Christian Tshiwewe, Jean-Pierre Bemba also went to Sake, to express support and to congratulate to the troops engaged at the front and tp comfort the wounded and displaced people.
He also provided aid from the President of the Republic to around ten families bereaved by the recent clashes.
In the last months, many political and civil society actors in North Kivu have been calling on MONUSCO to openly and actively support the FARDC in fighting the Rwandan invasion under the cover of M23 rebels and later welcomed SpringBok.
Meanwhile, there have been major protests in Kinshasa of people asking the Western governments, especially the governments of the United States, the UK, and France, to openly and resolutely support the DR Congo government to fight against the Rwandan invasion under the cover of M23 rebels. Some protests were conducted in front of embassies from these countries.
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