Goma (IP) - The senior officials from the armies of South Africa, Burundi, Malawi, Tanzania, and the DRC met this Saturday in Goma to develop strategies to strengthen operations against the M23, supported by the Rwandan army.

Iran PressAfrica: The heads of the defense forces of the SamiRDC contributing countries and the chiefs of general staff of the FARDC were in Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Arriving in Goma on Thursday, February 29, 2024, they went to the city of Sake, the scene of clashes lasting several days between the Congolese army and the M23 rebels supported by the Congolese army. 

"During this meeting, it was a question of evaluating the evolution of operations on the ground and of confining strategies to strengthen it to feel the realities and take stock of the situation," told Iran Press General Sylvain Ekenge, the Spokesman for the Congolese army.

While on their way to the field yesterday Friday, army chiefs of troop-contributing countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Force escaped death following bombs dropped by rebels from the M23 to Mubambiro.  However, the presence in Goma of these senior officers is a strong signal to the enemy.  

On February 25, on the sidelines of the funeral of Namibian President Hage Geingob in Windhoek, Namibia, President Félix Tshisekedi participated in a meeting of SADC contributing countries operating in eastern DRC.  

The province of North Kivu has been the scene of a rebellion for more than two years, led by the M23 (March 23 Movement) which, with the support of units of the Rwandan army, seized large areas of swaths of territory.  In Goma, this meeting is commented on in all directions.  The residents of this city remain optimistic that this war will end.  

Passy Mubalama told Iranpress that the authorities should favor non-violent means to end the war.

"To end the war, I know that the president flatly refused to negotiate with the M23, I completely agree with the president who should not negotiate but I think that a dialogue with Rwanda around what happening now would be a solution because we are fighting, but you cannot imagine the consequences of the war in a country like the DRC where there are thousands of populations, so people die every day because of this war, women are raped, they are all victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity, I think it's too much.  For me, war is not a solution, we must favor much more non-violent ways,” Passy Mubalama, a resident of Goma, told Iranpress.

 Experts and civil society believe that the passage of these SADC chiefs of general staff will bring a solution to the war.  A strong signal was sent to the rebels, declared Jean Claude Mambo Kawaya, president of civil society in Nyiragongo territory.

“When the Chiefs of General Staff of big countries like South Africa, and Malawi arrive in Goma, it shows that they are also determined and very committed to putting an end to this war,” he declared.