E.Africa troops to “enforce peace” in eastern DR Congo

President of Kenya William Ruto said on Monday that East African troops would “enforce peace” in eastern DR Congo, which is under an offensive by the M23 armed group.

Kenyan troops deployed as part of the East African Community (EAC) force recently arrived in the volatile region.

Regional forces will “force peace on those who seek to create instability,” Ruto said during a press conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa.

Mostly Congolese Tutsi Militia M23 seized swathes of territory in the North Kivu province of the DRC and headed for the main city of the Goma region.

The fighting also reignited regional tensions, with DRC accuses its much smaller neighbor Rwanda of supporting M23as UN experts and US officials have also pointed out in recent months.

Kigali denies supporting M23, while accusing Kinshasa of colluding with the FDLR, a former Rwandan Hutu rebel group that formed in the DRC after the 1994 genocide of mainly Tutsi in Rwanda.

M23 first gained notoriety 10 years ago when it captured Goma in 2012 before being ejected and going to earth.

But it resurfaced late last year, alleging that the DRC had failed to fulfill a promise to integrate its fighters into the army, among other complaints.

Kenya is also sending about 900 troops to the DRC as part of a joint EAC force set up to restore security, with the first batch of soldiers arriving last week.

In Kinshasa, Ruto said he was aware there were already peacekeeping forces in eastern DRC – alluding to the United Nations force of several thousand – but suggested the East African troops would be stronger.

“From what we see in the region, we don’t think we need to keep the peace,” he said. E.Africa troops to “enforce peace” in eastern DR Congo

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