President William Ruto says it is in the interest of the East Africa Community to find a lasting solution to the current instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
He made the remarks on Wednesday when he discussed the security situation in Eastern DRC with his colleagues Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Samia Suluhu (Tanzania), João Lourenço (Angola) and Evariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi) in Washington, D.C., United States of America.
DRC’s Felix Tseshekedi did not attend the meeting.
“We cannot allow the situation to get worse. That is why we encourage dialogue and cessation of hostilities even as we push for a lasting solution,” he said.
Kenya sent its troops for a peacekeeping mission in the region in October as part of the East African Community Regional Force.
Ruto ordered the deployment of 903 soldiers from the KDF to join a regional peacekeeping mission EACRF-DRC.
The Kenyan troops joined 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.