Uganda Dispatches Troops for Peacekeeping Mission to DRC
12:50 GMT 30.03.2023 (Updated: 17:06 GMT 20.04.2023)
© Photo : Uganda Peoples’ Defence ForcesThe flagging-off of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces Contingent to serve under the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
© Photo : Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces
In August of 2022, the East African Community decided to establish regional forces comprised of troops of member nations to stabilize the eastern DR Congo and ensure security as the situation in the region escalated, with more than 120 militant groups operating there.
Uganda has dispatched its troops as part of East African Community Regional Force for a peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The flag-off ceremony was held on Wednesday by Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) commander for Land Forces, Lt. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga. It was attended by Senior UPDF Officers, special invited guests and residents of the area.
While the official press-release hasn't disclosed the exact number of troops being dispatched to the DRC, AFP reported that Uganda had sent 1,000 soldiers.
During his speech, Muhanga noted that this mission brings the UPDF to a new level of peacekeeping operations.
"Having pacified the country, UPDF now exports peace to other countries. We were in Liberia at one time, we are in Somalia, been to South Sudan, Central African Republic. We are also in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo fighting the Allied Democratic Forces terrorists which we are doing very well and fulfilling our objectives," the Lt. Gen. stated.
Colonel Michael Walaka Hyeroba commands Ugandan troops.
"We are prepared, we have the training, we have gained the cohesion that is required of us and we are ready for the task that our country and the region has assigned to us," Hyeroba said.
Currently, there are more than 120 militant groups acting in the eastern DRC, including M23 which seized some parts of the country's territory since it relaunched its fight against the Congolese government forces.
Despite the recently announced ceasefire clashes between the rebels and the government forces reportedly continue.
In order to hamper the conflict in the region, East African nations’ leaders agreed last summer to establish regional forces.
Uganda, Burundi and Kenya earlier sent their military contingent to DR Congo to take part in the mission. South Sudan has also announced that it would deploy some 750 troops to the DRC.