Regional force demands ceasefire between Congo army and M23 

Regional force demands ceasefire between Congo army and M23 
A picture showing a group of SSPDF soldiers heading to DRC for peace keeping mission. [Photo: Courtesy]

The East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) blamed the death of a Kenyan peace keeper in the north-east of Goma on the breach of a ceasefire agreement between Congolese and armed group.

The regional force called for the return to ceasefire agreements and cessations of hostilities between the armed forces of the DRC and the M23 armed group.

It followed an incident in which a Kenyan peacekeeper stationed at Kanyamahoro, near Kibuma, 15km kilometres north-east of Goma, was wounded and subsequently died.

“The hostile clashes fatally wounded a Kenyan peacekeeper stationed at Kanyamahoro, near Kibumba, and 15km north east of Goma. Consequently, investigations to establish the circumstances under which this incident occurred have commenced. The EACRF remains committed to the protection of civilians in line with its mandates,’’ the EACRF noted in a statement Wednesday.

The army spokesperson for the DRC blamed the M23 group for carrying out the attack on the East African Community Regional Force.

The Congolese army spokesman, Lt. Col. Kaiko Ndjike, said that the M23 attacked with a mortar fire that killed the peacekeeper.

“After facing the determination of the FARDC (Congolese Army) on the morning of Tuesday, when they attacked one of our positions, the M23 supported by the Rwandan army, directed their mortar fire at advanced positions of the EACRF, with the aim of accusing the FARDC of being the perpetrators of the said fire and thus attracting the good grace and sympathy of the regional force, obviously creating a misunderstanding between the latter and the loyal forces of the DRC,” Ndjike noted.

The M23 failed to reply to the accusations.

On September 6, 2023, East African agreed to extend the mandate of a regional military force deployed to quell violence in the strife –torn east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.