Kenya-DRC Friendship Tested as EACRF Falters in Pursuit of Peace
Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been working to strengthen their ties as the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) faces allegations of complacency towards rebel groups in the DRC. The EACRF was deployed in November 2022 to support political means to end the conflict in the eastern part of the country and neutralize armed groups. However, the force has come under fire from the DRC government for its alleged inaction towards the rebels, leading to a recent ultimatum for the EACRF to act or leave.
Despite the challenges, Kenya remains committed to the pursuit of long-term peace in the region and sees economic collaboration with the DRC as key to achieving that goal. The two countries have a long-standing friendship and Kenyan troops have played a vital role in peacekeeping efforts in the DRC. Kenyan Ambassador to the DRC, George Masafu, recently met with the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Defence, Jean-Pierre Bemba, to discuss the security situation and peace in the east and how Kenya and the DRC could collaborate.
“As you know, Kenya and DRC are very good friends,” said Masafu after the meeting in Kinshasa. “Kenya has long been committed to peace in the DRC. We have had our troops in the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) UN peacekeeping mission in Beni, North Kivu, eastern DRC, and also have had troops for the training of Congolese soldiers in Kisangani, northeast Congo.”
Kenyan troops have been involved in various peacekeeping efforts in the DRC, including protecting Goma from the M23 rebels. Masafu also worked to soothe tensions between Kenya and the DRC after President William Ruto made a snide comment about them while on a campaign trail last year.
As tensions rise and the EACRF’s future remains uncertain, the question remains: can Kenya and the DRC work together to bring lasting peace to the troubled eastern region? With the world watching closely, the pursuit of peace in the DRC remains a top priority for Kenya and its allies.
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