As Kenyan troops arrive in eastern DRC, the misconception about their presence is evident among the Congolese. Their incompetent leaders have deliberately misinformed them of the role of the East African troops in ongoing efforts to try to bring peace to DRC.
To Tshisekedi, the less the Congolese population knows, the better for his plans to sabotage next year’s Congo elections, and allow him to cling to power. The misperception of many ordinary Congolese now is that the Kenyan contingent is in DRC to act like mercenaries on behalf of the Tshisekedi regime, and “bomb the M23 out of existence.” This is thanks to the misinformation the DRC leaders have fed them, none stop.
This dangerous misconception portends a very high risk for the EAC contingent and regional peace because failure to follow the protocols laid down by the peace mechanisms, the situation can only get worse. The UN intervention brigade found itself in the same situation in 2013. But due to a lack of foresight by a few regional leaders, they pursued the wrong approach of acting on the whims of the Congolese government. As anticipated, the results achieved were only short-lived, and that is why the region is facing the same problem all over again, only that the situation is worse this time.
That is why the Kenyan contingent must endeavor to adhere to the protocols of the Nairobi and Luanda peace processes and ignore any attempt to divert them from the objectives of their mission. For regional security to prevail, there has to be peace in eastern DRC, which is why the Kenyan contingent should bear in mind that this is not about DRC leaders. The entire region is banking on the troops to execute their mandate with enduring autonomy and professionalism.
According to the regional peace mechanisms, all hostilities must cease so that armed groups can lay down their weapons to allow for organized negotiations to take place, aiming for sustainable peace. Congo is bigger than Tshisekedi, and that is why he should not be allowed to jeopardize initiatives aimed at ensuring sustainable peace.
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