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Uganda to send 1,000 troops to Congo as part of regional force – SABC News

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Uganda will send 1,000 troops to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of this month to join a regional force tasked with helping end decades of instability, Kampala’s military said on Monday.

The seven countries of the East African Community (EAC), which Congo joined this year, agreed in April to create a force to fight militia groups in Congo’s restive east.

Uganda will become the third country to deploy troops after contingents from Kenya and Burundi arrived in the area, Ugandan army spokesman Felix Kulaigie said, but their participation has been opposed by some activist groups and officials because of Uganda’s role in the bloody civil war. wars in the Congo.

In September, Uganda paid Congo $65 million, the first tranche of a total of $325 million, as compensation for damages caused by Ugandan troops who occupied Congolese territory in the 1990s.

Eastern Congo already hosts hundreds of Ugandan troops deployed nearly a year ago under a separate bilateral arrangement to help hunt the Islamic State-allied United Democratic Forces (ADF).

Despite billions of dollars spent on one of the United Nations’ largest peacekeeping forces, more than 120 armed groups continue to operate in large swaths of eastern Congo, including the M23 rebels, whom Congo has repeatedly accused Rwanda of supporting. Kigali denies the allegations.

Speaking in Kinshasa after meeting President Felix Tsiskedi on Monday, Kenyan President William Ruto said Nairobi would honor its commitment to help stabilize eastern Congo. Kenya’s parliament has approved the deployment of 900 soldiers there.

“A peaceful, secure and stable Democratic Republic of the Congo is not only good for the Congolese people but also for the people of our region,” Ruto said, adding that the East African Community will do whatever it takes to ensure stability.

M23 has mounted a major offensive this year, seizing territory, forcing thousands to flee their homes and sparking a diplomatic row between Congo and Rwanda. The EAC said on Friday that former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Rwandan President Paul Kagame agreed on the need for the M23 rebels to cease fire and withdraw from the captured territory.

Kenya Defense Forces troops arrive in Goma, DRC for regional peacekeeping mission

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