UPDF starts withdrawing from DRC

UPDF starts withdrawing from DRC
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Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) contingent has officially withdrawn its troops from the war zone of North Kivu, Eastern Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo ((DRC).

This comes after the decline of the DR Congo government to renew the mandate of East African Community Regional Force(EACRF) troops that were in the province under a peacekeeping mission which expired on 8th December 2023.

UPDF crossed for peacekeeping mission in DR Congo on 29th March 2023 and the deadline for them to be in DR Congo was on 8th December 2023 up to 7th January 2024.

This was after the DR Congo government where a section of civilians and political activists accused the troops of failing to launch an assault against the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels. The DR Congo government is not in a move to deploy troops from countries under the South African Development Community (SADC).

At exactly 11:00 am, our reporter witnessed hundreds of Uganda troops crossing from Rutshuru territory where they had deployed back to Uganda through the Bunagana border in Kisoro district.

The mandate of troops from Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan deployed in North Kivu province in late 2022 was to reclaim positions that were previously held by the M23 rebels after they defeated the DR Congo Armed Forces of Soliders (FARDC) and also to establish a buffer zone to prevent further clashes between M23 rebels and FADRC Soldiers.

This was following resolutions made and approved by the East African Regional Heads of State on the 21st of April 2022 in Nairobi, another extraordinary summit of East African presidents held in Bujumbura on 4th February 2023.

In March 2022, M23 rebels launched a war against the DRCongo government. The rebels claim to fight against bad leadership in DR Congo based on corruption, xenophobia and discrimination.

By press time, the troops together with fighting equipment were still Crossing. More so Col.Micheal Walaka Hyeoba Commander of the crossed troops was among those who had not yet back to Uganda.


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