The United States of America has endorsed the proposed East African regional force deployment to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to battle armed groups.
This is according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s call to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 30, 2022.
According to a statement released by the office of the Spokesperson, Ned Price, Blinken called Kenyatta to discuss the government of Kenya’s efforts to address the continued violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Secretary Blinken expressed his appreciation for the Nairobi Process, which has brought together the leadership of the DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan, and Tanzania.
The Secretary noted these heads of state meetings are instrumental in facilitating the de-escalation of regional tensions, and in particular between the DRC and Rwanda.
The Secretary underscored the importance of free and fair Kenyan elections that are peaceful and reflect the will of the Kenyan people.
He also engaged on other regional issues, including U.S. efforts to support African countries suffering from food insecurity as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the historic drought in the Horn of Africa.
The recent Nairobi Initiative under the East African Community Conclave on DR Congo endorsed EAC Chairman Kenyatta’s call to deploy a regional force — the East African Standby Force (EASF) after a meeting of EAC chiefs of Defence forces agreed on the Concept of Operations for troop contribution to the force by EAC member states.
According to Blinken, it is through such meetings that the tensions boiling between Rwanda and DR Congo, which stem from Kinshasa accusing Kigali of supporting the M23 militia, can be resolved.
When Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo Nairobi met physically in Nairobi, Kigali denied the accusations.
As such, DR Congo Congolese politicians are opposed to Rwanda’s participation in the regional force.