EARCF Commander Major General Jeff Nyagah exits DRC mission over safety concerns

EACRF Major General Jeff Nyagah exits the DRC mission. [George Maringa, Standard]

East Africa Regional Force Commander (EACRF)  Major General Jeff Nyagah has exited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mission over personal security concerns.

In a memo to East Africa Community (EAC) Secretary General, Maj Gen. Nyagah cited security threats and frustrations as he performed his duties in the DRC.

“I present my compliments to you the Secretary General of the East Africa Community and have the pleasure to inform you of my exit from the mission area due to an aggravated threat to my safety and a systematic plan to frustrate efforts of the EACRF,” Gen Nyagah wrote.

The Force Commander said foreign military contractors had been sent to intimidate security at his former residence, including flying drones and random surveillance checks on his home in January this year, forcing him to relocate.

The Major General also lamented of “negative media campaign” against him, and the DRC government’s failure to pay administrative costs such as accommodation for staff officers, electricity, and salaries for civilian staff, as some of the factors that sabotaged his efforts to restore peace in the war-hit eastern DRC.

“It is with this in mind and further assessment that I have come to the conclusion that my security as the Force Commander is not guaranteed within the operation area. Further, the ongoing frustration has rendered my mission untenable hence the precautionary decision to exit the mission area,” the Major General said.

The Standard understands that Maj. Gen Nyagah is back in Nairobi for “consultations.”

But in a communique on Friday, April 28, indicating changes by President William Ruto at the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), Major General Jeff Nyagah has been appointed General Officer West Command (GOC WESTCOM).

Gen. Nyagah will be replaced by Major General Alphaxard Muthuri Kiugu as the new EACRF-DRC Force Commander.

Kenya, in November 2022 deployed hundreds of troops to quell the unrest in the DRC and bring peace to the region.

The troops were sent as part of a joint force by the East African Community.

Seven EAC countries agreed in April 2022 to set up a joint force to fight militia groups in Congo's east.