QRF, South Africa Battalion Conduct Joint Patrols in DRC

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A team of Kenyan troops deployed in the Democratic Republic Of Congo as part of a peacekeeping mission conducted patrols in the area at the weekend.

The Quick Reaction Force (QRF) from Kenya and South Africa Battalion serving under the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), conducted a joint patrol along the Beni-Eringeti Main Supply Route (MSR).

The Beni-Eringeti MSR has long been a focal point of instability and conflict in the region. It serves as a vital lifeline for both humanitarian assistance and movement of goods and services thus making it crucial to secure and maintain.

The joint patrol marks a significant step towards achieving this goal, officials said.

MONUSCO, one of the largest UN peacekeeping missions globally, has been tirelessly working to stabilise the eastern DRC, which has been plagued by armed conflict, ethnic tensions, and the presence of various armed groups.

The deployment of the Kenyan QRF and South African Battalion is part of MONUSCO’s ongoing efforts to bolster its presence in the region and enhance its capacity to respond rapidly to emerging threats.

The joint patrol, consisting of troops from both Kenya and South Africa, covered a critical stretch of the Beni-Eringeti MSR, which has been susceptible to attacks by various militias and armed groups.

The patrol aimed to deter potential aggressors, ensure the safe passage of humanitarian aid, and provide a visible presence to reassure local communities.

Kenya has a longstanding history of contributing troops to international peacekeeping missions, and their QRF unit has received extensive training to handle complex security challenges.

The collaboration between troops of the two nations serving under MONUSCO highlights the multinational effort to bring peace to the DRC.

The joint patrol is not without challenges, as the terrain is rugged and remote, which poses a challenge to manoeuvre.

“This operation also reflects the broader international commitment to the DRC’s stability, with diplomatic efforts ongoing to address the root causes of conflict, disarm armed groups, and facilitate peaceful coexistence among local communities,” the KDF said.

“The joint patrol by the Kenyan QRF and South African Battalion units represents a significant stride towards enhancing security along the Beni-Eringeti MSR.”

“It underscores the importance of international collaboration in peacekeeping efforts and sends a message that the international community remains committed to achieving lasting peace and stability in the region.

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.

Security in the eastern DRC has deteriorated.

For years, trade between Kenya and DRC has been insignificant because of insecurity in the central African country.

Source: The Star