Uganda’s military on Monday said that it will send 1,000 troops to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by the end of this month to join a regional force mandated to help end decades of instability.
The M23 have seized the territory, forcing thousands of people from their homes, and sparking a diplomatic row between Congo and Rwanda.
On Friday, the EAC said Kenya’s former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame had Agreed on the need for M23 rebels to cease fire and withdraw from captured territory.
The seven countries of the East African Community (EAC), which DRC joined this year, agreed in April to set up a force to fight militia groups in its east.
Uganda will be the third country to deploy troops after contingents from Kenya and Burundi have arrived in the area, Uganda’s army spokesman Felix Kulayigye said. But their involvement has been opposed by some activist groups and officials because of Uganda’s role in the conflict in DRC.
Eastern DRC already hosts hundreds of Ugandan troops, deployed nearly a year ago under a separate bilateral arrangement to help hunt down the ISIL-allied group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).