Uganda’s military has said the ongoing withdrawal of the East African regional force from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will not affect the joint operations against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terrorists between Uganda and DRC.
Deo Akiiki, Uganda’s military spokesperson, told Xinhua over the phone Monday that the country’s army had different operations in eastern DRC.
“The East African Community Regional Force, to which Uganda contributed soldiers, had a different mandate from Operation Shujaa which is hunting down ADF rebels,” Akiiki said.
According to Akiiki, the mandate of the regional force consisting of Ugandan, Burundian and South Sudanese troops was to ensure no hostilities by M23 rebels against Congolese nationals.
“The hunt for ADF by our soldiers under Operation Shujaa is still going on in South Kivu Province and parts of Ituru. This is a different sector from North Kivu where the regional force has been operating,” Akiiki said.
Akiiki said the regional force was approved by heads of state from the East African Community member states while Operation Shujaa was approved by Uganda and DRC.
Ugandan soldiers under Operation Shujaa have been in DRC since November 2021 and have together with Congolese forces managed to destroy several ADF camps.
Local media in DRC reported that the country’s leadership had agreed not to renew the mandate of the regional force, which entered DRC last year.