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The Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) contingent which is part of the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) in DR-Congo, will remain in place until further orders, regardless of the EACRF mandate expiring on Friday, December 8, 2023.

The DRC government has since vowed not to renew the EACRF mandate, alleging that regional force troops have not engaged in combat with M23 rebels.

However, speaking to Endigyito radio, UPDF spokesperson, Brigadier Felix Kulayigye stated that their mandate was never intended to engage in direct combat with M23 rebels and that they do not believe the group is the root cause of the problem.

He emphasized that the primary issue in the DRC is political and requires dialogue.

On whether the UPDF plans to withdraw troops on Friday, Brigadier Kulayigye stated that their primary objective is to maintain peace in the DRC for business purposes and that they are awaiting new instructions.

On Sunday, December 3, 2023, Kenyan troops became the first to exit North Kivu.

In 2022, M23 rebels launched a war against the DRC government, citing corruption, xenophobia, and discrimination as justifications for their actions.

The DR Congo government has since accused Rwanda of supporting M23, an allegation that Kigali strongly denies.

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