The chiefs of defense forces of the member states of the East African Community (EAC) have started talks on the modalities of establishing a regional force that will help restore peace and security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
At At the meeting held in Goma on Monday, Kenya’s CDF General Robert Kibochi, who also chairs the Committee of Chiefs of Defense Forces of EAC partner countries, told the meeting that the peace and security agenda was a critical pillar in anchoring EAC integration process.
He went on to state that security and stability in eastern DRC will provide an enabling environment in which all other aspects of regional integration will thrive.
“We therefore, together as one region, support efforts to address security challenges and recover from Peace and stability in eastern DRC so that our people can realize the full potential of regional integration,” Gen Kibochi said.
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He also called for the adoption of options that ensure the force remains stable and a clear coordination mechanism with other actors to ensure synergies in the operation.
< p >Kibochi further noted that the recent addition of Congo to the EAC technically expands the community from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic.
“Not only will this expand the community’s market by an additional 90 million people, but also strengthening regional economic and social cooperation and enabling the exchange of experiences between citizens. For this aspiration to be fully realized, peace and security are of paramount importance, and that is precisely why we are meeting today in Goma,” added General Kibochi.
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The Chiefs meeting is a follow-up to the Conclave of Heads of State that was held on 21 May to contain negative forces in eastern DRC and, if necessary, to Combat.
DRC Chief of Staff General Célestin Mbala Munsense said the country is ready to restore peace in eastern DRC and the East African sub-region EAC leaders.
< p>“Following the recommendation of the Conclave of Heads of State of the EAC in Nairobi, the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has instructed me to invite you to this strategic meeting, around the military/security enforcement track,” he said.
EAC leaders have called on local armed forces groups to surrender and unconditionally lay down their arms, cease hostilities and return to their countries of origin.
Last year Kenya deployed a contingent of its rapid reaction force to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Congo (MONUSCO). to help stabilize eastern Congo, where more than 120 armed groups are roaming freely killing civilians and displacing hundreds of thousands.
Another group of troops is already conducting operational training at Kangaita camp in Mt. Kenya, Nanyuki. through.< /p>