Colonel Michael Walaka Hyeroba, the Commander of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces contingent in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has issued a call for heightened vigilance. The troops are urged to be prepared to defend themselves if they come under attack, emphasizing the right to self-defense as per their mandate.
The East African Regional Force in DRC has faced a series of threats and attacks on its contingents from Burundi, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda. In response to these challenges, Col. Hyeroba convened an ad-hoc operational meeting with commanding officers to address the shifting security environment and the need for enhanced preparedness.
During this meeting, Col. Hyeroba emphasized the importance of constant alertness and readiness to act in the face of potential threats. He encouraged the troops not to hesitate in defending themselves when attacked, highlighting the mandate that grants them the right to self-defense.
As ongoing threats persist against the mission troops, Col. Hyeroba’s call for readiness and self-defense serves as a crucial reminder of the challenging conditions faced by the EACRF in eastern DRC.
The EACRF’s presence in the region is essential for maintaining peace and stability in a volatile environment. The force’s mission extends beyond self-preservation; they are responsible for protecting threatened communities and supporting humanitarian efforts. Their role is pivotal in promoting peace and stability in the larger region.
The soldiers are urged to avoid comfort zones, adhere to standard operating procedures, and be prepared to confront any hostility from those who seek to disrupt the peacekeeping mission. The spirit of Pan-Africanism and the sacrifices made by the EACRF troops are acknowledged and appreciated by the Contingent Commander.
Col. Hyeroba also emphasized the force’s collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) to restore peace and stability through peaceful dialogue, as outlined in the mandate approved by East African Regional Heads of State and other key decisions.
The EACRF’s deployment in eastern DRC is aimed at mitigating tensions and fostering a stable environment. Troops from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and South Sudan have already arrived in the region, establishing buffer zones north of Goma. This deployment aims to contribute to regional peace and security.
However, there have been challenges and concerns regarding the East African force’s interactions with certain groups in the area, including allegations of “cohabitation” with the M23. Despite these challenges, the force’s commitment to its mission remains unwavering.
As the East African force continues its mission, it is crucial to address the evolving security situation and maintain preparedness to ensure a safer environment for the people of eastern DRC. The force’s mandate is set to end in December, and its actions in the coming months will play a significant role in shaping the region’s future stability.