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KENCON Troops under EACRF commence exit from DRC

The East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) has began exiting troops from Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The first group of the Kenya Contingent (KENCON) troops left Goma International Airport today, Sunday, 3rd December 2023, after one year of deployment.

The exit is in line with the directive of the 23rd Ordinary Summit on EAC Heads of State held on 24th November in Arusha, Tanzania. Where the decision not to renew EACRF mandate beyond 8 December 2023 was made. Accordingly, the Kenyan contingent is effecting the decision by withdrawing KDF units gradually as it prepares to hand over the area it has been protecting.



The exit follows a visit by the Chief of the Defence Forces (CDF) Gen Francis Ogolla to Goma in DRC yesterday 2nd December 2023 where he met the leadership at the EACRF Force Headquarters and KENCON troops in Kibumba and Kibati. The CDF also paid a courtesy call to the FARDC Chief of Land Forces, Lieutenant General Fall Sikabwe Asinda, and discussed KENCON’s exit from theatre. The CDF also relayed gratitude to the leadership of DRC and FARDC as well as the communities in the Joint Operation Areas for their goodwill for the duration of the mission. He also relayed assurances of Kenya’s responsibility and commitment in participating towards peace in the region.

During the visit, the CDF was apprised of the exit plan for KENCON troops by the Force Commander Maj Gen Aphaxard Kiugu and the Contingent Commander Colonel Daniel Rotich. The exit of EACRF is to be phased gradually beginning with non-critical units.

In recognition of the troop’s contribution to stabilization in Eastern DRC, Gen Ogolla lauded the Kenyan contingent, stating that they have done an excellent job in protecting civilians in their area of operations and denied armed groups freedom of action to commit atrocities. “I am happy that KENCON troops have undertaken the given EACRF mandate with great responsibility. As KDF we are satisfied to have delivered our role professionally with minimal collateral.” He also noted that the town of Goma has largely been protected by EACRF in support of FARDC since 22 November 2023 when KENCON deployed.

He called upon the troops in North Kivu to remain mission-ready and to observe the transition phase with utmost professionalism. Notably, EACRF will be handing over security responsibilities in Eastern DRC to SADC forces. Consequently, elaborate plans have been put in place to ensure a smooth handover to the designated force that will enable continuity of the peace efforts in the region.


The EACRF mandate was to conduct joint operations with Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) to defeat armed groups, support the forces in disarmament programs, maintenance of law and order as well as provision of humanitarian relief. Since its commencement inception one year ago, EACRF forces have recorded significant milestones, among them being the successful withdrawal of armed groups to the designated cantonment areas and creating buffer zones in areas that were once dominated by the said groups. Further, the forces were engaged in humanitarian aid programs that saw the provision of food, water and medical assistance to the locals.


Today, close to 300 soldiers will be arriving in Kenya. Subsequently, in the coming days, backloading of equipment and troop movement will progress by road and air for the EACRF troops respectively.

Flagging off the troops this morning at the Goma International Airport were Col Daniel Rotich – KENCON Commander. At the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Kenya, they were received on behalf of the KDF leadership by Brigadier Mohamed Dahir Ali Commandant, Defence Forces Technical College.


While receiving the troops Brigadier Mohamed Dahir Ali commended the troops for their diligence and dedication throughout the deployment period and urged them to extend the same as they embark on their regular duties.

“On behalf of the KDF leadership, I would like to welcome you back and express our gratitude for representing us well in DRC. You exuded professionalism and zeal for the tasks assigned to you which is among the top qualities of a good soldier.”

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