Tanzania has criticized the media narrative that put its armed forces at the center of the ongoing military intervention in the DRC Congo.
Responding to a news article with the title reading, ‘JWTZ finishes-off M23’, Tanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, January Makamba said that, “Tanzania is not at war with any armed group in DRC,” and insisted that the country is part of the SADC mission.
“We are in DRC as part of the SADC Mission (SAMIDRC), which is a result of the August 2023 SADC Summit decision to accept a request by the DRC government,” said Makamba in X post, where he called the headline, ‘erroneous’.
According to Tanzania’s Chief of Defence Forces, General Jacob Mkunda, SAMIDRC mission troops started to enter DRC on December 15, 2023. The Force Commander for the SAMIDRC is Major General Monwabisi Dyakopu from the Republic of South Africa; Malawi, Tanzania, and South Africa have contributed their personnel to the mission.
DRC President, Felix Tshisekedi invited the SADC intervention after he had called for a speedy withdrawal of the UN Peacekeepers and following the conclusion of the East African Community regional force. He had accused the EAC force of cohabitating with the rebels, and many analysts have pointed out that this feeling has pushed him to seek help from SADC.
Talks of Tanzania’s military involvement in DRC have received hype on social media following a statement released by M23. In its statement, M23 said that ‘It does not have any particular problem with SADC, especially the Tanzanian People Defense Forces (TPDF)’, but warned on the use of ‘heavy artillery in particular 122mm MRLS(BM)operated by TPDF soldiers.’
In its statement, Tanzania insisted that it aligns itself with both Luanda and Nairobi processes, regional political mechanisms for peaceful resolution of the Eastern DRC conflict.