The second contingent of Kenyan forces arrives in Goma, DR Congo
GOMA, DRC – Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] the second force of troops arrived in Goma on Wednesday evening as part of over 900 Kenyan troops who will be sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo to help fight the notorious M23 rebel group.
Kenyan troops have been deployed under the banner of a regional bloc that arrived in the war-torn east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The KDF will be joined by troops from other East African Community (EAC) member states to help the Congolese government fight rebels.
According to Chiko Tshitambwe Jerome, Congolese Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, the presence of Kenyan soldiers will enable military gains.
“I hope that we will develop in an offensive mission, to finally bring peace to our country DRC with two priorities, M23 and this Rwandan aggression.”
Major General Jeff Nyaga, EAC Force Commander identified two main objectives during the press conference in Goma.
“We are here to protect and defend Goma International Airport, including the Force headquarters, while the other processes continue.”
East African Community heads of state agreed in June to deploy regional forces to the DRC to help fight the rebel group.
Commander Nyaga further pointed out, “The other thing on that track that is very important for you to note is the issue of disarmament and demobilization. Not just targeting M23 (rebel forces) because we all seem focused on M23, we have over 120 armed groups in the East The Democratic Republic of Congo. And they have created a significant degree of uncertainty. If those two tracks fail, we will automatically move to the third track, which is military action.”
The M23 rebel group rose to prominence about a decade ago when its soldiers seized control of Goma. They later entered into a peace deal with the government but returned late last year, saying the terms had not been met.