The Government of Tanzania has clarified that it is not going to send troops to the DRC to fight M23 rebels instead it has offered to contribute one battalion to the International Neutral Force which will be deployed to the DRC to protect and monitor the border of DRC and its neighbours and if necessary to engage all negative forces including M23 in the DRC.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon Bernard Membe made the clarification yesterday following reports in some local media that created an impression that Tanzania was unilaterally going to war against M23 in Eastern Congo.
He said the Tanzania one battalion contribution to the international neutral force was meant protect the border and deal with negative forces in the context of international forces which will mainly come from the International Conference on Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the SADC region.
“it is unfortunate that when I spoke to the media yesterday i was misquoted to have said Tanzania was going to DRC to fight against M23 unilaterally while the truth of the matter is that we are part of the international neutral force” the Minister said.
He appealed to the media in the country to be extra careful when reporting the development in the DRC crisis, saying such was a sensitive matter that needs to be properly handled.
The Minister also noted that President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete will be among Heads of State and Government who are scheduled to attend the International Conference on Great Lakes Region and SADC counties to be held in Kampala Uganda today. &
The Conference which aims at finding a lasting solution to the crisis in DRC will be chaired by the President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and will also be attended by Rwanda President Paul Kagame and and DRC President. Joseph Kabila. The meeting is also expected to urge the United Nations not to evade its responsibility in the DRC crisis.