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Uganda withdraws soldiers from strife-torn DR Congo

A contingent of the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), part of the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF), has started withdrawing from the country, the army has confirmed.

According to Capt. Kato Ahmad Hassan, a Ugandan army spokesman, the troops have finally received orders to pull out of the violence-plagued eastern DRC.

“The UPDF will conduct withdrawal operation of its forces and equipment in a phased manner, gradual, orderly and sequentially commencing on Dec. 8 2023 to Jan., 7, 2024 so as to curtail any disruption that can lead to any security space,” Hassan said.

The withdrawal comes after authorities in DR Congo refused to renew the regional force’s mandate beyond Dec. 8.

The multinational EACRF was first deployed in November 2022 at the invitation of the DRC authorities to free areas taken by M23 (the Movement of 23 March) rebels, who re-emerged in North Kivu province in late 2021.

Numerous armed groups and other militias have been active for decades in the east of the DRC.

Besides the EAC force, UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO has also been present in the country since 1999.

Source: AA