4 December 2012

Uganda: Ten Countries for DRC Peacekeeping - Kiyonga

Photo: Siegfried Modola/IRIN
Congolese army soldiers deployed against M23 rebels (file photo).

A total of 10 countries in the Great Lakes region have resolved to form a joint force of 4,000 troops to contain the insurgency in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Defence Minister Dr. Crispus Kiyonga has confirmed.

"The countries to contribute to the force include Angola, Namibia, Congo Brazzaville, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Burundi and the DRC itself," Kiyonga said.

He said this while officiating at the passing out of 350 youths at the end of a two-week military and patriotism course at Kisinga Vocational Secondary School in Kisinga sub-county Kasese district on Monday.

He said the force would operate under the command of Tanzania.

The current insurgency in the eastern DRC broke out in April this year when the M23 rebels mutinied and deserted from the country's army causing over 500,000 people to flee from their homes in the ensuing unrest.

Addressing himself to the youthful cadres, the minister warned them against supporting elements that may want to change government by the use of force.

He advised them to be supportive of ideas which are pro Pan-Africanism and regional integration for faster economic and social development of the African people.

He urged them to use the skills and knowledge they had acquired during the military and patriotism course to ensure that corruption is routed out the country.

Kiyonga said that among the ten reasons the NRA/M waged a bush war was to fight corruption that existed in the former governments.

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