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East African Community woes: Expanding bloc struggles to pacify members

East African Community (EAC) Chairman Salva Kiir (C), Secretary-General Peter Mathuki (3rd left), and other officials in Kigali, Rwanda where they met with President Paul Kagame on February 22, 2024. PHOTO | KAGAME FLICKR

What you need to know:

  • The EAC Regional Force was deployed for a year before Kinshasa asked it to leave, accusing it of refusing to engage M23 rebels.
  • EAC watchers are concerned that the recent exchange of bitter words between the presidents of Rwanda, DRC, and Burundi does not augur well for the community.
  • Burundi cut relations and closed its border with Rwanda because Kigali is allegedly supporting the Red Tabara rebels.
  • In Eastern DRC, there are more than 120 militias, each controlling an economic interest.