Kenya has added more peacekeeping troops in MONUSCO, even as it changed its guard in the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A soldier familiar with the developments told The Brief that Kenya sent 200 troops for peacekeeping last week, with representation from “all the departments of the army”.
According to United Nations Peacekeeping troops contributing data by December 31, 2020, Kenya had 75 troops, 20 police officers, 17 military experts and 50 staff officers.
In total, Kenya’s deployment was 162, while the total MONUSCO troops were 69, 454 — 81, 832 inclusive of other officers.
Kenya is a well-known troops contributor, with missions in Sudan, Somalia, South Sudan, Central Africa Republic, Malia and Liberia.
The security situation in the eastern DRC has, however, deteriorated with the recent case being the killing of Italy Ambassador Luca Attanasio, his bodyguard and a World Food Program driver on Monday.
Earlier, in May 2018, two Britons were kidnapped by suspected Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia, whom Congo’s Interior ministry accused of the murder of the Italian envoy.
FDLR is one of the many armed groups operating in eastern DRC. Kivu Security Tracker has identified 122 different armed groups operating in Kivu, Ituri and Tanganyika areas.
In mid-February, militants armed with knives, machetes and pick-axes killed 10 people in an overnight attack on a village in the eastern region.
On December 8, 2017, suspected Allied Democratic Forces attacked the Semuliki operating base, 27 miles from the town of Beni resulting in the deaths of 15 UN peacekeepers and five Congolese soldiers.
The UN says killings by armed groups more than doubled last year.