Kenya Quick Reaction Force (QRF) troops deployed in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) helped stranded motorists at Ofaye along Eringeti – Komanda road move following heavy rain.
The rains and poor road network work made it impossible for motorists to pass.
More than 20 vehicles comprising cargo trailers and public service vehicles transporting people and essential goods had been forced to wait for days after the road was blocked by trucks that had been stuck on the road due to the ongoing heavy rains and bad state of the road.
The Kenyan soldiers who were on patrol duties used their offroad armoured personnel and recovery vehicles to pull out the trucks that were blocking the easy movement of motorists from both sides of the road.
The road users, who are mostly businessmen and farmers, expressed their appreciation for the help offered by the Kenyan troops.
They added that the move helped them avert losses that they would have incurred by staying on the road.
The Eringeti – Komanda road is a key route used to transport goods and services between Beni and Ituri territories.
Aid to civilians is one of the mandates that Kenyan troops play in peace support operations in DRC.
Kenya sent its troops for a peacekeeping mission in the region in October as part of the East African Community Regional Force.
President William Ruto ordered the deployment of 903 soldiers from KDF to join a regional peacekeeping mission EACRF-DRC.
The Kenyan troops join others from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania on the mission in Eastern DRC.
A mostly Congolese Tutsi group, the M23 (the March 23 Movement) leapt to prominence in 2012 when it briefly captured Goma before being driven out.
After lying dormant for years, the rebels took up arms again in late 2021, claiming the DRC had failed to honour a pledge to integrate them into the army, among other grievances.
The resurgence has ratcheted up diplomatic tensions, with the DRC accusing its smaller neighbour Rwanda of backing the group.
Rwanda denies providing any support for the M23 and accuses the Congolese army of colluding with the Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) — a notorious Hutu rebel movement involved in the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is leading peace talks in the region.