Ahead of moving into eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) contingent was told they would be on the ground to help “a country in turmoil”.
Lieutenant General Kayanja Muhanga told a flagging-off ceremony the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF), of which Uganda is part, will not be attacking belligerents. Instead the force will ensure decisions taken at EAC Heads of State meetings will be implemented. This is in line with its peacekeeping mission mandate.
The regional force can go to a strength of 12 000 troops. At present soldiers, other military personnel and equipment from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan comprise the EACRF.
UPDF contingent commander Colonel Michael Walaka Hyeroba said he is leading ambassadors of peace and tranquillity to help another African country in turmoil and assured those at the send-off troops under his command are fully prepared to execute the mission. “We are prepared, we have the training, we have gained the cohesion required and are ready for the task assigned by our country and the region.”
Looking back on UPDF involvement in Africa land force commander Muhanga, speaking on behalf of UPDG Chief General Wilson Mbadi, said: “Having pacified the country [Uganda], UPDF now exports peace to other countries. We were in Liberia at one time, we are in Somalia, have been to South Sudan and Central African Republic (CAR). We are also in the eastern DRC fighting the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terrorists doing well and fulfilling our objectives”.