PEACE MISSION

[PHOTOS] Kenyan troops handed flag for DRC mission

231 Kenya Defence Forces Quick Reaction Force troops released by Chief of Defence Forces Gen Robert Kibochi.

In Summary
  • Soldiers urged to maintain high standards of discipline while and not to spoil the good name of KDF.
  • The team completed their training ahead of the deployment.
Quick Response Force Soldiers and the KDF officials pause for a group photo with humoured trucks at Embakasi Garrison on June.15, 2021.
Quick Response Force Soldiers and the KDF officials pause for a group photo with humoured trucks at Embakasi Garrison on June.15, 2021.
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

Kenyan troops to be deployed in the Democratic Republic Of Congo as part of a peacekeeping mission were Tuesday handed the flag at an event in Nairobi.

The team completed their training ahead of the deployment.

The handing over of the flag to 231 Kenya Defence Forces Quick Reaction Force troops was done by Chief of Defence Forces Gen Robert Kibochi, marking the start of their trip to the mission.

He told them to be peace ambassadors. He said it is a privilege for them to serve there, given KDF authorities were constrained by the Amisom operations in Somalia.

“You are joining a mission similar to Amisom because you will be fighting a group that is fighting their own people. This is not a peacekeeping mission and you are lucky some of you have served in Amisom and know what it is,” he said.

He urged them to maintain high standards of discipline while in DRC and not to spoil the good name of KDF.

“Be professional in your mission and ensure you are safe. Know it is not an easy task but with the training you will make it.”

He told them their families will be taken care of while the soldiers are away.

“Don’t disengage from your families. Talk to them all the time.” The CDF said the troops are 100 per cent kitted and are ready to serve.

The Commander of Kenya Army Lt Gen Walter Koipaton had in April visited the troops training at Kangaita Camp in Nanyuki.

KDF said the troops successfully completed both the pre-deployment training and the United Nations verification exercise prerequisites prior to deployment to United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).

He called upon every soldier to uphold the values of KDF, to be professional and mission-ready to undertake their duties under MONUSCO.

The deployment comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta visited Congo where he met President Felix Tshisekedi and signed a deal on defence cooperation to promote peace, security and stability in the region.

Kenya signed various deals with DRC when President Kenyatta visited the central African nation on April 22.

KDF troops have represented Kenya in peace support operations since 1979 when Kenya, a member state of the United Nations, deployed troops in Rhodesia, present-day Zimbabwe.

Kenya has deployed military staff officers and military observers to MONUSCO under the UNSC Resolution 2556 (2020).

Kenya sent about 200 troops for peacekeeping last week, with representation from all departments of the army.

The bilateral agreement provide a framework to enhance policing, counterterrorism, maritime and aviation security, immigration, and customs matters.

The focus will be on counterterrorism, small arms and light weapons, immigration, custom and border control and police cooperation.

Officials said since 1979 more than 55,000 troops have served in various peacekeeping missions.

Edited by Henry Makori