Congolese M23 rebels begin withdrawal from bases in eastern DR Congo
The Ugandan military said on Sunday that the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels have started withdrawing and handing over their bases in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF).
The Ugandan contingent of the EACRF on Sunday officially occupied the areas of Bunagana in North Kivu Province after M23 left the area, Ahmad Hassan Kato, military spokesperson for the Ugandan contingent, said in a statement.
"Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) has deployed in the general areas of Bunagana where they have set a foothold as they give M23 time to also vacate the general areas of Rutshuru, Kiwanja and Mabenga as agreed," said Kato.
The development came after Uganda on Wednesday sent 1,000 troops on a regional peacekeeping mission in the eastern DRC.
The deployment followed the decision endorsed and adopted by regional leaders at the third East African Community Heads of State Conclave on Peace and Security in the eastern DRC held in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi last June.
Ugandan troops joined Kenyan, Burundian and Angolan counterparts on the ground to bring lasting peace to the eastern DRC.
The East African country has other troops in the eastern DRC in a joint military operation with the Congolese army against the Allied Democratic Forces rebels.