The East African Community Regional Force Commander, Major General Aphaxard Kiugu has commended the EACRF peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the noble role they are playing in the fulfilment of their mandate and ensuring the safety of civilians, free movement of goods and services and humanitarian Aid workers.
While addressing the EACRF Contingent Commanders from troop-contributing countries of South Sudan Peoples Defence Forces, Burundi National Defence Force, Kenya Defence Forces and Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces at the Force headquarters in Goma, DRC, Maj Gen Kiugu tasked the Regional Joint Force commanders to cooperate and maintain a good working relationship and internal communication amidst themselves while conducting kinetic military operations in their various areas of responsibility.
“I urge all of you to follow the rules of engagement, standard Operation Procedure and the status of Force Agreement (SOFA) while in your day-to-day kinetic operations,” said Maj Gen Kiugu as he called upon the EACRF forces to conduct regular patrols and engage the community to ensure that they attain the trust and confidence of the local populace so that normalcy prevails in an effort to consolidate the peaceful dividends so far attained.
The meeting is to enable the Joint forces to address and make a follow-up on EACRF operational matters from the period of its posture and give highlights on the recently concluded technical evaluation exercise of the four EACRF contingents of UPDF, BNDF, SSPDF and KDF so as to enable the force gauge its success as per the mission and mandate of EACRF.
Maj Gen Kiugu urged the commander to be cautious about the complex situation in the entire DRC and tasked them to remain committed to the military track and mindful of the ongoing peaceful process.
He cautioned the commanders against interfering with the politics of DRC and reminded them that DRC is a sovereign State and whatever they do should be in support of the DRC government as mandated.
Other attendants included: the Deputy Force Commander of Intelligence and Operations-Brig GenEmmanuel Kaputa, the Administration and Logistics-Brig Gen Ndorarigonya Groggier, and EACRF Chief of Staff-Brigadier Michael Kibuye among other Force headquarters Staff Officers.