East Africa: Defence PS Nominee Patrick Mariru Defends Govt Move to Send KDF to DRC

Nairobi — Principal Secretary Nominee for Defence Patrick Mariru has defended the move by government to send Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to Democratic Republic of Congo (,DRC) to help fight the M23 rebels who have caused perennial conflicts in the mineral-rich country.

Speaking before the National Assembly Defence, intelligence and Foreign Relations Commitee Mariru said Kenya is interested not only in the stability of the DRC but of the East African Community in general..

Mariru who spoke during his vetting further pointed out that Kenya did not act unilaterally but followed an agreement by all Heads of State within the EAC.

“Our engagement in DRC is not unilateral and other East African Countries including Rwanda and Burundi who are engaged along their borders. The move is therefore a shared responsibility within the EAC in pursuant with Heads of States,” Mariru said.

He recognised the admission of DRC to the EAC saying it’s a succes story and as a sister country, Kenya ought to help because DRC’s stability/instability affects Kenya directly or indirectly.

“There is so much that Kenya and Kenyans can gain from DRC and that can only happen if the country is stable and at peace. As we speak, there is a Kenyan bank thank is doing very well in DRC. I therefore agree that sending troops there is a worthy investment because if DRC is ailing, Kenya will be ailing and EAC will be ailing as well,” he said.

He however added that the political conflict resolution that is ongoung is the best mechanism to apply and military engagement comes as a last results.

Kenya is set to spend Sh. 4.5 billion to keep the troops in DRC for the next 6 months.

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