The exit plan of troops from the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been adopted by the East African Community (EAC) Chiefs of Defense.
The East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) will officially cease operations with effect today after the security chiefs convened a meeting in Arusha, Tanzania on December 6, 2023, to address the exit plan as the extension expires today.
The CDFs meeting upheld the decision that the troops end the operation in DRC.
The countries contributing troops are set to commence the withdrawals in line with the plan adopted.
Kenya has already withdrawn three hundred personnel with South Sudan expected to withdraw 287 by the end of today as the deadline remains the same.
The remains EACRF troops including Uganda and Burundi will continue with the same and backloading equipment by air and road from today to next year January, 7.
The EACRF headquarters are expected to be the last component to be moved from DRC.
Concerns regarding the ongoing clashes in the Joint Operation Area where EACRF troops are deployed were raised and urged the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), M23, and other armed groups to cease hostilities to allow the peace processes to continue their mission of finding a lasting solution to the security challenges.
The government of DRC has assured the contingents of their commitment to ensuring the force enjoys security and the necessary assistance during movement to respective transit locations, Goma International Airport, and through border posts even as the EACRF exit plan continues.
Troops from the region have been in the Eastern part of DRC for one year after the resurgence of the rebel M23 group.
The DRC government invited troops from the region to help them clear the rebels who had conquered the area.
The future of the deployment came into doubt after DR Congo President Felix Thisekedi accused the force of cohabiting with the rebels rather than forcing them to lay down arms.