The East African Regional Force (EACRF) Commander Major General Jeff Nyagah has assured residents of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that the force remains committed to a lasting solution in ensuring the restoration of peace and stability in the region.
Addressing local journalists at the EACRF Headquarters in Goma in the company of his Deputy Commander Brigadier Emmanuel Kaputa, the Force Commander said nothing will come in the way of the force achieving its mandate.
Major General Nyagah urged armed groups within Eastern DRC, to heed calls outlined in the communique from the mini-summit on peace and security in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo held in Luanda, Angola on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022, which has stringent set timelines to be complied with.
On when the troops will be advancing to the frontlines, Major General Nyagah said, “the specialized forces already on the ground have the requisite capability and capacity and have secured strategic infrastructure including Goma International Airport, the surrounding areas and protection of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Further, the forces Joint patrols with FARDC in areas proximal to the frontlines and plans are at an advanced stage to deploy more troops in the frontlines in the coming days having completed mobilization of all logistics required for operations.”
Major General Nyagah maintained that the prioritized path to end the conflict was dialogue as envisaged in the Luanda and Nairobi processes, but maintained that a military option is inevitable should armed groups fail to heed the calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and withdrawal to the designated areas inter alia as per the communique. He added that troops from other EAC countries would continue to work closely with the FARDC and other state and non-state actors for efficient operations.
“We are also engaging the humanitarian agencies to see the best way of addressing the plight of IDPs whose physical security remains a priority, and ultimately a safe return home to engage in socioeconomic activities,” said the Force Commander
He later met the Governor of North Kivu Lieutenant General Constant Ndima and discussed areas of collaboration towards the achievement of the milestones outlined in the Luanda Communique.
They both expressed concern over the insecurity in the region and agreed they have a responsibility to end hostilities against the people of eastern DRC.