You did a good job, Ogolla tells troops as they exit DR Congo


Chief of Defence Forces Gen Francis Ogolla (second right) and Major General Fredrick Leuria (right) receive KDF soldiers led by Major General Alphaxard Kiugu (second left) at Embakasi Garrison on Dec 21, 2023. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

A contingent of Kenya Defence Forces personnel who were part of the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) who served in the war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) returned home yesterday to a rousing welcome by KDF boss General Francis Ogolla.

The troops, in their hundreds, arrived at the Kenya Army Embakasi Garrison a few minutes after midday where they were received by senior military bosses.

General Ogolla said he was proud of the work by the officers in restoring peace in DRC and that the military will continue supporting peace efforts in the region.

EACRF's commander Maj Gen Aphaxard Kiugu, who was among the officers who arrived in the country yesterday, said his officers together with troops from four other countries had helped restore partial calm in the region.

Presidents from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan last November approved the deployment of troops from the region to deal with conflict in DRC.

Kenyan troops were first to arrive in the troubled region and managed to restore peace in Goma and North Kivu, where there was a huge penetration of M23 rebels.

The Burundi forces arrived in March this year and took control of Mubambiro area before moving to Kirolirwe, Kitchanga and Mweso.

In April, Ugandan soldiers arrived and were stationed in Bunagana before moving to Chengerero, Kiwanja and Mabenga. 

The officers from the three countries were backed up by South Sudan's military and, together with the KDF, extended their operations to other troubled areas of Tango and Mulimbi.

Maj Gen Kiugu, in an earlier statement, said troops from the four countries had managed to restore peace and forced a ceasefire between the M23 rebels and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.