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Kenyan EACRF Commander Resigns, Questions Force's Effectivity

FILE —Major General Jeff Nyagah of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), meets his soldiers as the Kenyan troops to the East Africa Community Regional Force (EACRF) arrive on their deployment in the Democratic Republic of Congo November 16, 2022.

GOMA — The Kenyan commander for the East African Community Regional Forces (EACRF) Thursday submitted his resignation letter quoting an "aggravated threat" to his safety and a "systemic plan" to frustrate efforts to address militia violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Authorities in the DRC and other diplomats Thursday confirmed the authenticity of a letter written by Maj. Gen. Jeff Nyagah of the EACRF where he alleged that foreign military contractors were sent to survey his home in January and placed monitoring devices that forced him to relocate.

Nyagah’s letter also stated that he was the target of orchestrated "negative media campaigns" that accused the EACRF of being soft on M23 rebels that have wreaked havoc in eastern DRC.

The Kenyan commander also said authorities in the DRC frustrated his mission by pushing for the rotation of his post every three months.

"My security as the Force Commander is not guaranteed," wrote Nyagah. "The ongoing frustration has rendered my mission untenable," he added.

Authorities in DRC and the army could not be reached for comment however DRC Communications Minister Patrick Muyaya is on record previously acknowledging the presence of foreign military contractors referring to them as "instructors."

A spokesperson of the East African Community’s military force did not comment on Nyagah’s allegations, but Kenya's Defense Ministry Friday said the former commander had been appointed to a domestic command role.

East African leaders whose combined forces formulate the EACRF are at logger heads over the mandate of the regional military body which has faced criticism from the DRC.

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi’s administration said the EACRF has failed to rein in the M23 rebels and that its mandate is under review.

Tshisekedi is demanding a more aggressive stance than the peacekeeping mandate proposed by others.

The seven countries of the East African Community (EAC) set up the EACRF military force last April to try to end bloodshed linked to decades of militant activity in eastern DRC.