Maj General Kiugu takes over EACRF command in DR Congo

Last month Maj Gen Nyagah announced his exit from the mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over personal security concerns.

In a memo to East Africa Community (EAC) Secretary General, 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 Department of Defence and the EAC secretariat dismissed the memo terming it fake.

According to EACRF, the new Force Commander brings to the Mission wealth of experience in military leadership, command and management in peace support operations having been previously deployed as a Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation Officer while serving with the UN Mission in Eastern DRC from 2003 to 2004.

Major General Alphaxard Kiugu introduces himself to EACRF staff at Force Headquarters upon arrival and subsequent assumption of office as the new Force Commander on Thursday, 18 May 2023. [KDF]

He added, "I believe in cooperation and teamwork and I want to remind each one of us that we are one people of EAC with a common objective of enabling the citizens of Eastern DRC that are affected by insecurity to realize peace".

Kiugu implored all contingents to maintain the aim, remain focused, and continue with the efforts of ensuring M23 fully withdraws from the areas they occupied earlier to the designated localities per the Luanda Roadmap.

"We shall continue cooperating and collaboration with all stakeholders operating in the region including the various civil society entities so that we can leverage on each others' efforts and ideas" he said.

He was received at the Force Headquarters by the Deputy Force Commander (DFC) in charge of Intelligence and Operations Brig Gen Emmanuel Kaputa, DFC Administration and Logistics Brig Gen Ndorarigonya Gregoire, Chief of Staff Brig Gen Michael Kibuye and Contingent Commanders among others.