Uganda Police Force Deploys Over 5000 Soldiers to DR Congo

Uganda Police Force Deploys Over 5000 Soldiers to DR Congo (News Central TV)

Over 5,000 soldiers from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) were commissioned on Wednesday on a peace mission in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The commander of the land forces, Lt. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga, led the men across the Kisoro District’s Bunagana border crossing to DR Congo.

“The purpose here is to observe the process of bringing about peace in the Rutshuru Territory and the surrounding areas in the North Kivu Province of the DR Congo, unlike the Shujaa Operation on the opposite side of the DR Congo where we directly attack the enemy. We are sending roughly 5,000 troops,” Lt Gen Muhanga said.

He clarified that they are not travelling to Congo to fight any particular group, but rather to carry out the decisions made by the leaders of East Africa regarding the establishment of peace in the North Kivu Province.

The chairman of the Kisoro District, Abel Bizimana, expressed his excitement that the UPDF soldiers had finally been sent to observe a peace process in the troubled DR Congo.

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Uganda Police Force Deploys Over 5000 Soldiers to DR Congo (News Central TV)

He continued by saying that his district had previously given the UPDF access to around 620 acres of public property in Kabaya so that it could prepare for the peacekeeping mission.

“We are hopeful that now that the UPDF have arrived to restore peace to the area, the construction and tarmacing of the Bunagana-Goma route will resume. We also anticipate a resurgence of cross-border trade in the region.” Mr Bizimana said.

According to the Kisoro Resident District Commissioner, Mr. Shafiq Ssekandi, on average, 120 Congolese refugees enter Kisoro each day.

“Around 70,000 Congolese refugees entered Kisoro between March and December of last year, but just roughly 4,800 have done so since January. Currently, we receive on average 120 Congolese refugees per day entering Uganda through the Bunagana border,” Mr Ssekandi said.

The commander of the UPDF, Col. Michael Walaka Hyeroba, who was sent to the DR Congo, reminded the soldiers of their duties, emphasising the importance of maintaining strict discipline and adhering to the rules of engagement.

“To ensure the success of our mission, we make an appeal to the local populace in both nations. Our troops are prepared for the mission and well-trained,” Col. Hyeroba said.

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