Kenya To Deploy Troops To DRC Congo

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Kenya's National Assembly Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence, and Foreign Relations, Chaired on Monday, met with the National Defence Cabinet Secretary Adan Duale for a briefing on the deployment of Kenya Contingent (KENCON), East Africa Community Regional Force (EACRF) to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Vice Chief of the Kenyan Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Francis Ogolla, also attended the meeting.

CS Duale told the committee that DRC was admitted into the Community by the Summit of EAC Heads of States during their 19th Extra-Ordinary Meeting held on March 29, 2022.

He further stated that the deployment was in line with a resolution of the East African Community Heads of State summit that sanctioned the dispatch of troops to the troubled region to restore peace and stability from among the member states.

"The National Security Council, under the chairmanship of the former president, sat and agreed that we deploy. We are yet to send the soldiers; what you saw was the preparation for that deployment, and what we are waiting for is the final parliamentary approval," Duale.

Lt. General Ogolla said the Force has been trained, mobilized, and is ready for deployment.

"We are sending a battle group which is a complete battalion with support elements," said Lt. General Ogolla.

According to Lt. General Ogolla, the KDF mission in DRC is to maintain law and order and collaborate with DRC troops and humanitarian agencies to allow aid to reach the affected population. The troops will also participate in the disarmament of armed groups.

"The main effort of the military is to create an environment conducive to the political process," he said.

Committee Members who grilled the CS and Vice-Chief of the Defence Forces sought to know if the Kenyan government had followed all legal requirements before mobilization of the troops, as well as questions on the strategic preparedness of the military before deployment of the troops.

The committee was keen to establish the mission's funding and the period in which the troops will be in DRC.

"The funding will be from multilateral organizations, coordinated from the EAC level as well as the African Union peace and Security Council," said Lt. General Ogolla.

He also indicated that the initial period of stay, as estimated is six months but stands to be adjusted accordingly depending on circumstances.

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