Juba, December 9, 2023 (SSNA) — South Sudanese troops who were sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in April this year have returned to South Sudan, a senior officer at the Ministry of Defense who asked to remain anonymous told the South Sudan News Agency on Saturday.
The official disclosed that the abrupt return of soldiers is a result of a months-long campaign by the DRC. The source revealed that the government of DRC has not been happy about the activities of South Sudanese troops in his country.
“What happened is that the government of DRC and civilians in areas where East African troops were deployed accused our soldiers and troops from other East African Community countries of siding with Congolese M23 rebels,” the source said.
“The President of DRC has refused to renew the mandate given to the East African regional force. So, we are left with no option but to leave,” the source revealed.
The military official further disclosed that the DRC, which is a member of the East African Community, has lost confidence in the regional forces and that it is in discussion with the leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to replace the East African regional forces.
President Salva Kiir ordered the deployment of troops to DRC in December 2022. The South Sudanese troops arrived in DRC in April this year as a part of the East African regional forces.