Nairobi:Thousands of troops left Kenya on Tuesday on a peace-keeping mission aimed at heightening security and bringing stability to the troubled mineral-rich Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) targeting the northeastern region that the Congolese government has struggled to restore calm over the years.
The Kenyan military said Commander Kenya Army Lieut. Gen. Walter Koipaton saw off the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) at Embakasi Garrison in Nairobi.
“I know you are very capable because I have seen you train during my visit at the pre-deployment training grounds and you are ready for this mission. I have no doubt that we have trained you to the standards required as you join other contingents,” Gen.Koipaton told soldiers.
The military said the contingent will play a key role in protecting civilians, provide security to UN personnel and installations as well as destroying the armed militia groups in the DRC.
The Kenyan contingent will join others from Nepal, South Africa, and Tanzania to form the Force Intervention Brigade and Gen.Koipaton urged troops to remain vigilant as they will be deployed to volatile areas, wished them the best, and assured them of the military’s support while serving and their families at home.
Tanzanian troops have been in the region around the city of Beni for three months, but were unable to stem the violence alone. South African and Nepalese forces are expected to bolster security in the resource-rich region.