Kenya will deploy its military on a peacekeeping mission in Eastern Congo, an area infested by rebels and brutal militia.
This comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his DRC counterpart Felix Tshisekedi signed an agreement, where Kenya will voluntarily serve under the United Nation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC. This will be the second African country to have KDF troops deployed for a peace mission, after Somalia.
”Kenya will voluntarily be part of the Rapid Intervention Brigade to come and support the FARDC (Congolese army) in order to eradicate insecurity in the east of our country,” President Kenyatta and DRC’s Felix Tshisekedi announced in Kinshasa last week.
The Eastern part of Congo has been in conflict since 2004, in what is today known as the Kivu conflict. The war between government forces and the Hutu Power group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) has led to the loss of thousands of lives and millions displaced from their homes in the region. According to the Center on International Cooperation, the Eastern DRC currently has over 120 armed groups.
After withdrawing its troops from South Sudan in 2016, Kenya currently serves only in Somalia under the African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom) and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).