Kenya’s Major General Aphaxard Kiugu who has been the East African Community Regional Force Commander has commended the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) contingent in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for exhibiting high level of professionalism ,bravery and good discipline during their deployment under the EACRF mandate to pacify the war torn area.

“The performance of the Uganda Contingent has given me full satisfaction that UPDF is comprised of professional and deployable men who can deliver because it managed to restore normalcy in its area of responsibility by enabling free movement of the local populace, protecting their lives and property and aiding the functioning of the humanitarian aid workers,” Maj Gen Kiugu said.

Maj Gen Kiugu this was during his last command visit to the UPDF tactical contingent headquarters in Niongera Kiwanja of Rutshuru territory where he bid farewell to the contingent troops and to check on the progress of the withdrawal of UPDF out of DRC.

“I have therefore come for my last visit to UGACON and to also see you before you exit out of the mission area,” said Maj Gen Kiugu adding that he will be the last person to leave DRC after confirming the complete withdrawal of the Uganda Contingent.

The Force Commander said that the level of cooperation witnessed among the EACRF Forces was a clear exhibition that the forces could operate within East Africa.

Maj Gen Kiugu lauded the Uganda Contingent Colonel Michael Walaka Hyeroba for exhibiting good leadership and management of his troops during the execution of the EACRF mandate.

Col Hyeroba thanked the Force Commander and the entire Force headquarter team for the guidance, timely support and cooperation accorded to the UPDF Contingent during its routine military activities during the mission.

He applauded the people of Rutshuru territory for welcoming, supporting and working very closely with the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces Contingent in trying to find lasting peace in their area.

Maj Gen Kiugu later visited Uganda Contingent’s Amani (Peace) forest measuring four hectares in Niongera Kiwanja and planted a tree for remembrance before his departure to Goma.

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