Kenyan President William Ruto says a new East African Community force will ‘impose’ peace on warring groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
He was speaking after holding talks with his Congolese counterpart, Felix Tshisekedi, while on a one-day official visit to the DRC amid efforts to try to bring peace to the country.
‘There are a lot of (UN) peacekeeping troops in the region,’ he said, ‘but we think there is not much peace to keep.’
Ruto suggested that the East African troops would be more forceful, saying the regional force would ‘impose peace on those who are hellbent on creating instability’.
Kenya is one of several nations that are contributing troops to a, tasked with trying to calm deadly tensions fuelled by armed groups in the troubled eastern DRC. The region has been plagued by violence from multiple armed groups for nearly 30 years.
The first of over 900 Kenyan soldiers have already arrived in Goma, the capital of North Kivu, which is under threat from an offensive by M23 rebels. The largely Congolese Tutsi militia has seized large swathes of territory in the region.
Ruto and Tshisekedi were also expected to discuss various other areas of mutual interest, including trade and investments, and regional integration.