The President of the Republic of Kenya, HE Uhuru Kenyatta expressed concern over security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and called for urgent Activation of an East African Standby Force and declaration of a Weapon Free Zone.
A statement issued by State House in Nairobi said President Kenyatta was concerned with renewed violence in North Kivu and wants the area declared a weapons free zone.
“In doing so, I call for the activation of the East African Regional Force under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC).The regional force is a component of the military/security enforcement track also provided for in the communiqué adopted on 21st April 2022,” the statement read.
President Kenyatta expressed concern on Open hostilities that has created a serious threat to the success of the regional leadership’s work including the promotion of outcomes of the Inter-Congolese (DRC) consultations of the Nairobi Process.
”The hostilities in particular threaten to undermine the ongoing political process (the political track) aimed at addressing the Security situation as provided for under the 21t April 2022 communique,” read part of the statement.
“In this regard, the meeting of the regional commanders of the respective defence forces, cooperating in the Nairobi Process, scheduled for Sunday 19th June 2022, in Nairobi, should finalize preparations to undertake the deployment of the regional force,” the statement read.
Recently, the M23 rebel group clashed with the Country’s government forces FARDC, in areas of Ituri, North Kivu, such as Bunagana, Bugusa, most parts of Petit Nord, Masisi, Lubero, BeniKasindi main axis, and South Kivu provinces.
President Kenyatta wants these areas to be declared a Weapons Free zone where any individual or group carrying weapons outside the official and legally deployed and mandated forces in the country will be disarmed.
‘’The East African Regional Force shall be deployed to the Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces immediately to stabilize the zone and enforce peace in support of the DRC security forces and in close coordination with UN peacekeepers,” he said.