During a field survey at Kinyandonyi village, Rutshuru, located 09 kilometers from Nyongera town of Kiwanja, North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces Contingent Commander Colonel Mike Walaka Hyeroba guaranteed inhabitants of utmost security.
He assured them that the UPDF, as part of the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF), would defend them, their property, and their rights.
During the assessment of the M23 detach where EACRF is to deploy upon vacating the place in the presence of the M23 Commanders, he met a crowd of threatened civilians leaving the area and informed them that the UPDF is a friendly force in DRC for a peacekeeping mission and is mandated to protect the citizens against any hostility from any armed groups.
Col Hyeroba went on to say that the UPDF’s main objective is to act as a neutral force to witness the talks between M23 and the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in order to achieve long-term peace.
Mr Mugabushaka Nyamwasa Kinyonga, the area Local Council One (LC1) of Kinyandonyi, greeted the Ugandan Contingent and pledged that the locals under his leadership will work with the contingent to bring peace and coherence to the community.
He did, however, report to the UPDF that the town is frequently attacked by unknown armed thugs who rob and steal from the population, impeding the town’s development, and he asked the UPDF to stay longer in the region for their safety.
In his reaction, Col Mike Walaka Hyeroba assured the community that the UPDF is a pro-people army tasked with protecting all individuals under his jurisdiction.
“As mandated by the East African Community Regional Forces (EACRF), the UPDF will provide universal security to all without segregation.”
The Contingent Commander requested that the community work with the UPDF.
He praised them for believing in the UPDF for the noble cause of peace, but warned them to work hard to enhance food security and business in order to improve their livelihoods.