EAC move on DRC insecurity laudable
On Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta chaired a regional summit of the East African Community Heads of State where the rising state of insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) took centre-stage.
Among the resolutions arrived at by the six Presidents during what they described as the Conclave, at State House Nairobi, is the deployment of a combined military force to the eastern part of DRC to contain the escalating insurgency instigated by a ragtag rebel movement calling itself M23 in north and south Kivu.
That mission could not have come at a better time, though belated. From the onset, we laud President Kenyatta for stepping up to the plate by mobilising his colleagues within the East African Community (EAC) economic bloc to pitch for and promote peace and security in the increasingly volatile region. The initiative is a step in the right direction for which he and his EAC counterparts must be congratulated and encouraged to pursue relentlessly.
We are delighted by the move because only last month we came out in these pages to demand for an immediate, bold and responsible reaction from the countries bordering the expansive nation.
In our previous concerns, we noted that though DRC ranks on paper as the richest country on the continent owing to its vast mineral and other natural resources, in reality the central African nation counts among the poorest in Africa.
Poverty, illiteracy and warfare have characterised the lives and lifestyles of the Congolese people who have rarely witnessed peace since independence in the early 1960s.
Indeed, DRC was officially incorporated as a member of EAC at another Heads of State summit in Nairobi last month when a number of resolutions were adopted, including possible exploration of security alternatives to the mayhem in the country. We are encouraged by the fact that whereas the move is long overdue, a positive initiative has come to the fore and we are asking the leaders to ensure that the proposal is implemented with maximum speed and accuracy.
If peace and stability are secured in DRC, there is no gainsaying the fact that the entire EAC member-States stand to benefit both individually and collectively from the vast trade opportunities that will arise from the country’s guaranteed stability.
It is gratifying that some action is coming forth. We salute President Kenyatta and his EAC colleagues for taking commendable action. Kudos.