The Cabinet Secretary for Defence Hon. Aden Duale who is on a working tour to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) held a consultative meeting with his Congolese counterpart Hon. Jean Pierre Bemba Gombo in Goma.
Hon. Duale affirmed that, as an anchor State in the region, Kenya continues to promote shared aspirations towards achieving peace, stability and prosperity in our region.
During the substantive engagements, he received a comprehensive brief of the security situation in DRC and the various milestones achieved by the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) where Kenya alongside other partners deployed troops last year.
To strengthen the bilateral bond, the CS noted that the two countries signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement in April 2021 that led to the establishment of Kenya Military Assistance Training Team (KMATT) to enhance the military capacity of the Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).
The CS highlighted that, riding on the goodwill from the two friendly countries, the initial batch of the Infantry Brigade of KMATT deployed to the DRC in February 2023 successfully completed 13 weeks of rigorous training in June setting the stage for the second batch whose selection is underway.
He expressed his gratitude for the relative calm in the country but acknowledged there’s an enormous task ahead and implored Hon. Bemba to consider extending the EACRF mandate beyond the September deadline to consolidate the gains made by the sacrifice of the Force.
Afterwards, the CS visited EACRF Headquarters to familiarize himself with the day to day operations of the Force as they work round the clock to protect the civilians in the Eastern part of DRC.
Also present during the tour of duty was the North Kivu Governor Lieutenant General Ndima Ngoma Constant, the Vice Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces (VCDF) Lieutenant General Jonah Mwangi, EACRF Force Commander Major General Muthuri Kiugu and other senior military officers from the two countries.