The East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) Commander Major General Aphaxard Kiugu in the company of the Deputy Force Commander (DFC) Intelligence and Operations – Brigadier Emmanuel Kaputa, DFC Administration and Logistics – Brig Gen Ndorarigonya Gregoire, Chief of Staff – Brig Gen Michael Kibuye and other Force Headquarter Staff Officers visited Rumangabo and Kibumba Forward Operating Bases (FOBs).
At Rumangabo, the Force Commander (FC) was received by the Kenyan Contingent (KENCON) Commander Colonel Daniel Rotich and his South Sudanese (SSUDCON) counterpart Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel Bulo, both of whom appraised him on the security situation of their respective areas of responsibility as well as the, the ongoing and future operational plans.
Addressing the troops from both contingents, Major General Kiugu stressed the need to remain focused on the implementation of the EACRF mandate and adhere to the Status of Forces Agreement, Concept of Operations and Rules of Engagement in all operations they are engaged in.
He reiterated the need for the troops to remain committed and resilient towards executing their duties and respect the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) constitution and her sovereignty at all times.
“You should work together harmoniously towards the success of this mission. Remain objective and focused in all assigned tasks, key among them the Protection of Civilians, opening up of the Bunagana-Rutshuru-Rumangabo-Kibumba-Goma Main Supply Route to facilitate free movement of people and goods, and aid humanitarian assistance within your Area of Operation,” said Major General Kiugu.
At Kibumba, the Commanding Officer Colonel Dennis Obiero took the Force Commander through the security trends since deployment in the area, highlighting the progress achieved.
The Force Commander urged the Commanding Officer to maintain the tempo, facilitating humanitarian aid to the local population and nurturing positive relationship with the population through the ‘nyumba kumi’ initiative created to enhance security. The FC further commended the troops for the significant milestones achieved since deployment.
“I have no doubt that working together we will solve the problems we face, I urge you all to speak one language towards the success of the mission and maintain discipline. We shall do our best to support you from the Force Headquarters in the ongoing peace and stability efforts in Eastern DRC,” said the Force Commander while addressing troops at Kibumba.
This was the Force Commanders inaugural visit to EACRF troops aimed at boosting their morale, assessing the progress, achievements and needs of the mission.