Ruto set to visit DRC ahead of his Korea trip
President William Ruto is expected to leave the country today for his short official trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In a press release, the Head of State will be in DRC for one day, and after the trip, he will on Monday, November 21, travel to Korea for three days in a bid to explore partnerships.
In his visit, Ruto will hold bilateral talks with his host His Excellency President Felix Tshisekedi on areas of mutual interest, including trade and investments, regional integration and the security situation in Eastern DRC.
"President William Ruto will this evening depart the country for a one-day official visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The President will hold bilateral talks with his host His Excellency President Felix Tshisekedi and later on Monday 21st November 2022, President William Ruto will embark on a threeday official visit to the Republic of Korea for bilateral talks with His Excellency President Yoon Suk-Yeol," part of the statement read.
The President’s visit to DRC comes barely a week after the second batch of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers left for a peacekeeping mission in the Eastern part of the country.
The deployment follows a decision endorsed and adopted by regional leaders at the third EAC Heads of State Conclave on Peace and Security in Eastern DRC held in Nairobi in June 2022.
The first batch of soldiers was flagged off by the Chief of Defence Forces Robert Kibochi on Saturday, November 12, 2022, with the second leaving on November 16 to join their counterparts from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.
The 200 soldiers were flagged off by the Chief of Defence Forces Robert Kibochi at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and will be fighting the M23 rebels in the Eastern DRC in a joint regional operation.
General Kibochi urged the troops to obey the law of the land they are deployed to, and most importantly, remember that their joint mission with other East African Community states was purely to enforce peace.
There has been rising tension between Rwanda and the DRC over Kigali’s alleged support for the M23, a rebel group. Kinshasa claims Kigali is backing the M23 – a primarily Congolese Tutsi group – after clashes between its fighters and the Congolese army broke out in the North Kivu Province, which borders Rwanda.
Kenya will deploy a total of 903 soldiers and the first and second batches of the soldiers are already in DRC.