DR Congo: Regional forces conduct joint security assessment

By Patrick Vidija | Mar 16, 2023
Kenya Defence Forces with Burundi National Defence Forces in a joint patrol at Sake Masisi territory. [EACRF]

The East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) has conducted a joint security inspection along the Sake-Kilolirwe Main Supply Route in Masisi territory.

The joint inspection led by KDF's Commander Major General Jeff Nyagah is in preparation for the deployment of EACRF troops to the region.

According to a press dispatch, the joint reconnaissance was done in areas of Busangara, Kingi and Kabati towards Kilolirwe to facilitate the immediate deployment of Burundi National Defence Forces who joined other EAC troops earlier in the month.

The assessment was also aimed at verifying the withdrawal of M23 from the Western Front in compliance with the Communique from the Heads of State mini_summit held in Addis Ababa on February 17, 2023.

Major General Nyagah said the deployment of the Burundi contingent in Sake, Kilolirwe and Kitchanga main supply route follows the re-posturing of troops recommended by the East African Community Chiefs of Defence Forces/Chiefs of Staff on February 9, 2023, to allow free movement of persons and goods.

Burundi National Defence Forces in a patrol at Sake Masisi territory. [EACRF]

According to him, the contingent will further enhance the protection of civilians and monitor the systematic and orderly withdrawal of M23.

The assessment comes even as more Burundian troops arrived at Goma ahead of the task to ensure a smooth handover of the vacated locations to EACRF.

On March 3, 2023, the first troops from Burundi landed at Goma with KDF providing strategic airlift and logistics support.

Burundi National Defence Forces troops arrive at Goma International Airport. [EACRF]

The troops are to deploy in Sake, Kilolirwe and Kitchanga in North Kivu as approved by the Heads of State upon the recommendations of the EAC CDF/CDS of re-posturing troops within Rutshuru and Masisi territories, now designated as a multinational sector to enhance robust operations in order to address the current threat posed by the Armed Groups.

The deployment of South Sudan and Uganda contingents is expected in due course with South Sudan deploying alongside the Kenyan Contingent in Rumangabo while the Ugandan Contingent is to deploy in Bunagana, Rutshuru/Kiwanja and Mabenga.

Burundi National Defence Forces troops prepare to leave Goma International Airport. [EACRF]

Kenya is also expected to deploy more troops to the areas of Tongo and Kishishe.

The regional force is accelerating the full deployment of EACRF troops to enhance the peace and stability efforts in Eastern DRC.

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