The government of Kenya has released its military troops to join the East African Community Regional Forces – EACRF to keep peace in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Kenyan troops that were handed over the Kenyan flag by President William Ruto will now join other EACRF troops from the EAC member countries including Uganda, Southern Sudan and Rwanda in fighting the rebels especially the M23 that have ravaged the DRC for decades in the Eastern part of the expansive country.
President Ruto who spoke at the flag hand-over ceremony held at the Embakasi Garrison said that the deployment of the Kenyan troops to join other EACRF troops was timely and urgent.
“In light of invitation by the DRC, the deployment of a regional force in pursuit of peace and the activation of the East African Community Regional Force to forestall conflict is therefore legitimate and urgent,” said the President.
He added that he has done extensive consultations with leaders in the region and from global and continental bodies before authorizing the deployment of the Kenyan troops to DRC.
“On behalf of Kenyans I want to assure you that I have done extensive consultations and in the last 48 hours I have talked to the Secretary General of the United Nations who has given his approval of this mission, I have also talked to the chairman of African Union who also concurs under the Africa Union peace and security council that this deployment is necessary and important for regional stability.” He said.
He further said that he also consulted regional leaders including Presidents of Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda who all agreed that it is within their collective responsibility to keep the region and continent safe.
The Head of State assured the troops of his support, the government’s support, the support of the people of Kenya and will offer them all the necessary support needed as they continue with the mission.
Dr. Ruto at the same time revealed that he had discussed with his DRC counterpart Felix Tshisekedi and agreed on the modalities under which the Kenyan troops will operate while in DRC and how they will handle the civilians as they go on with their mission.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been in war with rebels for decades hence deterring stability of the country and the region at large with Tshisekedi’s government accusing neighboring Rwanda for supporting and sponsoring the M23 rebel troops, a move that has seen Kinshasa send away the Rwandan Ambassador to DRC as a result of the diplomatic conflict that has arose from the war.
The Chief of General Staff, General Robert Kibochi confirmed that the troops are well prepared for the mission and their main mandate will be disarmament, peace keeping and other military tasks according to the mission.
However, the number of the troops deployed by Kenyan government was not revealed and the duration of stay in the country also remains a secret of the troop leaders and the EACRF at large.