The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) on March 29th, 2023, flagged off a contingent to serve under the East Africa Community Regional Force in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The flag-off ceremony was held at the Bunagana border in the Kisoro District, and Lieutenant General Kayanja Muhanga, the Commander Land Forces, officiated.
According to Lt Gen Muhanga, the ceremony marks another chapter in the UPDF’s history of peacekeeping operations.
“Having pacified the country, the UPDF now exports peace in 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,” Lt Gen Muhanga said.
In his speech, Lt Gen Muhanga stressed that the East African Community Regional Force is on a peacekeeping mission and is watching over the peace process in Eastern DRC.
“The EACRF is not going attack the belligerents there but it is going to witness and ensure the implementations of the decisions that were taken between the Heads of States meetings,” Lt Gen Muhanga added.
Colonel Michael Walaka Hyeroba, the UPDF Contingent Commander said that he is leading ambassadors of peace and tranquillity to help another African country that is under turmoil and assured the guests that the troops under his command are fully prepared to execute the mission.
“We are prepared, we have the train, 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,” Col Hyeroba said.
The flag-off function was attended by the RDC Kisoro, Chairman LC5, Senior UPDF Officers, invited guests and residents of the area.
The 5000 Ugandan peacekeepers will join contingents from Kenya and Burundi in the fight against terrorism.