EACRF Commander Maj General Nyagah resigns, cites harassment in DRC

Friday, April 28th, 2023 17:13 | By
EACRF Commander Maj General Nyagah resigns over 'frustration' in DRC
East African Community Regional Force (EACRF)'s Commander Major General Jeff Nyagah (left) during a past function. PHOTO/Courtesy

The commander of the East Africa Regional Force (EACRF), Major General Jeff Nyagah, has resigned, citing security concerns and a plot to sabotage the mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In a resignation letter seen by People Daily Digital, Nyagah said there was an attempt to intimidate his security at his former residence in January this year.

The commander said he was forced to relocate after persons that he did not name deployed foreign military contractors (mercenaries), who allegedly placed monitoring devices, flew drones and conducted physical surveillance of his residence.

"I, The Force Commander of the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) present my compliments to you the Honourable Secretary General of the East Africa Community (EAC) and have the pleasure to inform you of my exit from the mission area due to an aggravated threat to my safety and a systematic plan to frustrate efforts of the EACRF," Nyagah said in a letter to EAC secretary general dated Thursday, April, 27.

Nyagah also alleged that there was a well-orchestrated and financed smear campaign against his personality in the media on the handling of the M23 rebels.

"Honourable Secretary General, there has also been a well-orchestrated and financed negative media campaigns targeted at my personality and direct written false accusations of EACRF's complacency on the handling of the M23 group," he added.

He claimed the situation was enhanced by the current push by the government of DRC to have the FC rotated every three months "which was not envisioned in the current mandate".

"Additionally, the recent suspension of the EACRF Facebook Account is an indication of possible sabotage of the Regional Force efforts," Nyagah stated.

According to Nyagah, the suspension of the EACRF's Facebook account and Kinshasa's failure to cover the force's headquarters' administrative costs, including electricity and salaries for civilian staff and accommodation for officers, was sabotage of its efforts.

"Honourable Secretary General, it is with this in mind and further assessment that I have come to the conclusion that my security as the Force Commander is not guaranteed within the operation area," he added.

"Further, the ongoing frustration has rendered my mission untenable hence the precautionary decision to exit the mission area. Honourable Secretary General, I express my profound gratitude to the EAC Heads of State, at your Secretariat and the Chiefs of the Defence Forces/Staff for the support accorded to me during the period of my leadership as the Force Commander - EACRF."

Nyagah has since been replaced by Major General Alphaxard Muthuri Kiugu at EACRF.

In new appointments announced on Friday, President William Ruto named Nyagah as General Officer Western Command (GOC WESTCOM).

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers are among the soldiers helping in peacekeeping in Goma, DRC.

Thousands of people have been displaced in the volatile eastern region of DRC as fighting between the country's military and M23 rebels intensifies.

The M23 rebel group rose to prominence about a decade ago when its fighters seized control of Goma.

They later entered into a peace agreement with the government but re-emerged late last year saying the terms had not been met.

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