Ugandan troops withdrawing from DRC peacekeeping mission start arriving home

Ugandan troops withdrawing from DRC peacekeeping mission start arriving home

The first batch of Ugandan military personnel withdrawing from a regional peacekeeping mission in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has arrived home.

Deo Akiiki, the military deputy spokesperson, posted on X, formerly Twitter, video clips of the troops of Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) shortly after they crossed into Uganda. "UPDF has finally started crossing the border at Bunagana (border town) back to Uganda after withdrawing from the mission area in Eastern DRC," Akiiki said.

The UPDF deployed 1,000 troops in DRC under the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) in November 2022 together with forces from Burundi, Kenya and South Sudan.

The decision was endorsed and adopted by regional leaders at the third East African Community Heads of State Conclave on Peace and Security in eastern DRC held in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in June 2022.

UPDF's exit comes after Kinshasa's decision not to extend the mandate of EACRF beyond Dec. 8.

"Welcome back home the gallant pan-African force," Akiiki said.

The pullout of army operational forces and equipment in a phased manner, gradual, orderly and sequentially deployed in March this year will end on Jan. 7, 2024, the army said in an earlier statement.

Other troops contributed by Uganda in eastern DRC in a joint military operation with their Congolese counterparts will continue the hunt against the Allied Democratic Forces rebels, according to the military.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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