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Uganda to Deploy 1,000 Troops to DRC to Join East African Regional Force

© AP Photo / Jerome Delay In this Jan. 14, 2021, file photo, security forces patrol the streets on election day in Kampala, Uganda.
 In this Jan. 14, 2021, file photo, security forces patrol the streets on election day in Kampala, Uganda.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.11.2022
As tensions on the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are rising, the M23 rebel group is advancing across North Kivu province and regional security bodies are stepping up their military operations. Regional forces are gradually getting ready to take over the role of the UN mission in the area.
Uganda will send 1,000 troops to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by the end of this month as part of the East African Regional Force, the country’s military has said.
The leaders of the East African Community (EAC) agreed in April to form a multinational regional force to fight militia groups in the eastern DRC. Uganda, Burundi, and South Sudan are set to each deploy their battalions, while Kenya will contribute one battalion of 900 soldiers.
Uganda will be the third country to send troops as contingents from Kenya, which has deployed its contingentpartially , and Burundi (which deployed the whole battalion) are already on the ground.
The task force’s first-ever troop deployment to a member country is expected to test its capacity to resolve this kind of regional conflict, in particular, to end the current hostilities and enhance the peace process.
Kenyan President William Ruto during his official visit to Kinshasa on Monday stated that the EAC troops sent to the DRC would "enforce peace". For the first time the leader has clarified the role of the regional force's troops, which have been arriving in eastern DRC since two weeks ago, mandated to help end years of instability.

“We are acutely aware that we have many peacekeeping troops in DRC. But from where we sit as a region, we do not think there’s so much peace to keep.That’s why it is necessary for a peace enforcement contingent under the East African regional force,” he said, as cited by local media.

Ruto also reiterated that the conflict in eastern DRC was hurting all the countries in the region. According to Kenyan president, peace, security and stability in the DRC will benefit not only the people of the east African nation, but also the people of the whole region.

“Without peace, no country or individual can have the space to prosper", he underlined.

The countries decided to send their troops to the DRC mainly to bring about peace in the conflict-torn nation, as well as to protect their national interests, which range from investment in the mineral-rich nation, to the need to stop the expansion of armed groups.
Kenya's Major-General Jeff Nyagah, force commander of the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF), center, speaks to the media accompanied by deputy force commander Congo's Jerome Chico Tshitambwe, right, outside the force headquarters in Goma, in eastern Congo Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.11.2022
Multinational East African Forces Reportedly Ready to Replace MONUSCO in DR Congo
Earlier, Maj. Gen. Jeff Nyagah, the joint force's commander, declared that the primary priority for settling the conflict in Congo is "the political option with the Luanda and Nairobi processes currently in place." At their station in Goma, eastern DRC, the Kenyan military officer had assured the media that "only after diplomacy and the disarmament process have failed will military force be used."
More than 120 armed factions continue to operate across major portions of eastern Congo despite billions of dollars being spent on one of the largest peacekeeping operations of the UN, including M23 rebels who Congo has frequently accused Rwanda of assisting. Kigali refutes the allegations.
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