Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | The Ugandan military recently placed its troops in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on high alert due to attacks on regional peacekeepers. Under the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF), which falls under the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), the commander, Michael Walaka Hyeroba, addressed the 1,000-strong troops in Kampala, Uganda. He emphasized the need for constant vigilance and readiness to defend themselves in response to the evolving security situation in DRC’s North Kivu province, where they are stationed.
Hyeroba reminded his troops of their right to self-defense as per their mandate and the breach of the ceasefire agreement between the DRC’s armed forces (FARDC) and the M23 rebel group. A tragic incident on October 24, in which a Kenyan peacekeeper was fatally wounded during clashes in North Kivu, underscored the importance of their preparedness.
In addition to self-defense, the commander stressed the troops’ responsibility to protect the local population, support humanitarian efforts, and contribute to the pacification and stabilization of the region. The UPDF is committed to cooperating with FARDC to restore peace and stability through peaceful dialogue, in line with the mandate approved by the East African Regional Heads of State Conclave on Peace and Security in eastern DRC, held in Nairobi in April 2022. The establishment of the East African Community regional force in 2022 aimed to address the situation in eastern DRC, particularly concerning the M23 rebel group.
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