President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday called for the urgent activation of an East African riot force to quell violence in eastern DRC.
A statement from the State House in Nairobi says President Kenyatta has done so Concerned about the renewed violence in North Kivu and would like the area to be declared a gun-free zone.
“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 envisaged in the communiqué adopted on April 21, 2022.
“In this regard, the meeting of the Regional Commanders of the respective Defense Forces working together in the Nairobi Process scheduled for Sunday, June 19, 2022 in Nairobi should complete preparations for the deployment of the Regional Forces.”
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Special areas of it uri, North Kivu, such as Bunagana, Bugusa, most parts of Petit Nord, Masisi, Lubero, the main axis of BeniKasindi and South Kivu provinces have seen renewed violence as the M23 rebel group clashed with government forces, FARDC. It is precisely in these areas that President Kenyatta wants to declare a gun-free zone, “where any person or group bearing arms will be disarmed outside of the country’s official and lawfully stationed and mandated armed forces.”
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The East African Regional Force is to be deployed immediately to the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu “to stabilize the zone and the Peace in support of the DRC security forces and in close coordination with Monusco [UN peacekeepers],” he said.
“The regional force will work with local provincial authorities to ensure an orderly and lasting disarmament process in the Support under the Disarmament and Demobilization Program , Relevement Communautaire et Stabilization (P-DDRCS) to create favorable conditions for stability and peace in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo e.g u create.”