This verification coincided with a meeting between Kenya’s former president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region. Kenyatta serves as the Facilitator of the East African Community-led Nairobi Peace Process.
On April 12, the day before the verification, the regional force successfully repelled an attack by armed men believed to be members of a local armed group. The assailants had intended to commit atrocities in Kibumba, Nyiragongo territory. After firing several rounds in the area, they were repelled and contained by a quick reaction force. In response, the EACRF enhanced patrols in the area to deter further threats and encouraged the local population to continue with their normal activities.
On April 11, Kenyan and South Sudan contingent troops deployed in Tongo, Rutshuru territory, under the EACRF. This deployment followed a successful reconnaissance mission led by Kenyan contingent commander Colonel Rotich. Col Rotich assured locals that the troops would collaborate with them to enhance security in the area.
Before these developments, M23 rebels had accused Congolese government forces of violating a ceasefire called for by regional leaders and killing civilians. In an April 10 statement, M23 spokesperson Lawrence Kanyuka alleged that the government coalition was exploiting the slow deployment of EACRF in areas vacated by the rebels and committing various abuses.
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