The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force (UPDF) contingent in the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) dislodged M23 rebel group elements from strategic positions in Kiwanja, part of Rutshuru territory in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Sequential deployment of Uganda contingent troops and M23 withdrawal is in compliance with an extraordinary summit decision of the East African Community (EAC) heads of state in February and the East African Chief of Defence Forces meeting the same month. The summit directed serial withdrawal and deployment of the EACRF and immediate positioning of troops in areas vacated by the M23.
UPDF contingent commander Colonel Michael Hyeroba is reported in a statement as saying the arrival and subsequent occupation by Ugandan troops “yielded confidence in civilians who initially fled after being told of an imminent war between the UPDF and the M23”. He told locals to return home and continue with “normal life” as the EACRF was “a neutral force intent on securing a peaceful and stable environment for future stability”.
The UPDF statement notes in closing: “All positions occupied by the UPDF in Bunagana- [a town in Rutshuru territory of North Kivu] are secured and the situation is calm with no violence as the civil populace is already enjoying the dividends of peace brought by the Uganda contingent”.