By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Major General Aphaxard Muthuri Kiugu, Commander of the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) has emphasized the importance of timely strategic collaboration between Congolese forces and allied troops to address the deteriorating security situation in Congo, particularly in the Masisi, Nyiragongo, and Rutshuru territories in recent weeks.
His remarks were echoed by Lieutenant-General Otávio Rodriguez De Miranda Filho of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), as the M23 rebels continue to disrupt the Central African state.
These discussions took place during Major General Kiugu’s meetings with Lieutenant General Rodrigues and a courtesy call to North Kivu Governor and Military Commander Major General Peter Cirimwani in Goma. The primary focus of these meetings was the current security situation and its impact on the protection of civilians.
During a meeting with MONUSCO FC on Friday, October 13, 2023, Major General Kiugu acknowledged the importance of collaborative efforts among all stakeholders to seek a peaceful resolution to the underlying causes of the conflict in the region, as stated in an EACRF statement.
Kiugu stressed that recent clashes between armed groups have impeded the progress of peace and stability efforts advocated by the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State.
The two commanders agreed to work together to ensure that EACRF and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) collaborate effectively to achieve the desired outcome, following the EACRF mandate.
Kiugu reaffirmed the Force’s commitment to implementing the mandate and other directives from the EAC Heads of State, with a focus on the protection of civilians (POC).
Lieutenant General Rodrigues expressed MONUSCO’s readiness to cooperate and support all efforts of EACRF and FARDC within the confines of the Force’s mandate.
He acknowledged that the deteriorating security situation, mainly due to ongoing clashes involving M23 and Wazalendo in Masisi and parts of Rutshuru territory, has resulted in the mass displacement of local populations, exacerbating the existing humanitarian crisis.