Colonel Michael Walaka Hyeroba, the Commander of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces contingent serving under the East African Regional (EACRF) Force in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has urged his troops to be on the lookout and defend themselves in the event they come under attack.
“We should ensure constant alertness and readiness to act anytime. Be ready to defend yourselves. If they attack, don’t wait. The mandate gives us the right to self-defence,” said Col Hyeroba
This comes at a time of ongoing threats against the mission troops following a series of attacks on the forces of Burundi, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda Contingents.
Col Hyeroba made the call during an ad-hoc operational meeting he held with Commanding Officers and Men in lieu of the rapidly changing security environment in EACRF areas of operation.
Col Hyeroba said that if the contingent is to consolidate the dividends registered, the force must accept to be inconvenienced, avoid comfort zones and adhere to the standard operation procedures while executing its mandate. He urged the commanders to ensure force protection and be on standby, ready to confront any hostility by enemies of peace on EACRF.
Col Walaka tasked his troops to ensure the protection of those who are under threat and to support the humanitarian actors in case they need to reach the needy community because the local populace is the reason why EACRF is in DRC for peacekeeping mission and to stabilize the entire region at large.
He thanked the officers and men for the spirit of Pan-Africanism and the sacrifice rendered to the government and the people of DRC in the pacification of North Kivu.
The Contingent Commander reminded the commanding officer and the troops that, UPDF will support and work closely with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) to ensure total restoration of peace, and stability through peaceful dialogue as enshrined in the mandate approved by the East African Regional Heads of State Conclave held on 21 April 2022 in Nairobi, Extra-Ordinary Summit of East African presidents (Bujumbura) on 4th Feb 2023, and the decisions of the Chief of Defence Forces of Feb 09th, 2023 in Nairobi.