In a heartbreaking incident, a Kenyan Army soldier deployed in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was among those killed during intense clashes between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and the M23 Rebels.
FARDC confirmed the loss of the Kenyan soldier in a statement, condemning the mortar attack by the M23/RDF that led to the tragic incident on October 24, 2023, in the Kibumba area.
The mortar fire hit a military camp, resulting in the death of the peacekeeper from the Regional Force of the States of East Africa. The statement did not specify whether other casualties or injuries occurred during the attack.
The Eastern DRC has been marred by armed conflicts, with numerous rebel groups causing havoc. To address this anarchy, the East African Community (EAC) member countries established a regional force in 2022.
This initiative aimed to quell the violence orchestrated by groups like the M23 rebels. Kenya, under the leadership of Former President Uhuru Kenyatta, deployed its troops to Eastern DRC, demonstrating the nation’s commitment to regional peace and stability.
However, the situation remains complex. There have been calls to reevaluate the mission and withdraw Kenyan forces, with some military observers expressing concerns about the effectiveness of the deployment.
The Eastern DRC is notorious for hosting over 100 rebel groups, making it one of the most dangerous places on Earth. The region’s resources have fueled conflicts, exacerbating the challenges faced by peacekeeping forces.
The ongoing unrest in DRC traces its roots back to the civil war following the fall of former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. The country has struggled to attain lasting peace for decades.
Corruption within the national army, coupled with inadequate equipment and low wages for soldiers, has hindered the efforts to combat rebel groups effectively.