Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has condemned the killing of Tanzanian soldiers who were part of a United Nations peacekeeping force in the DRC.
In a letter sent to Tanzanian President John Magufuli, Kenyatta said the attack on the soldiers, who were serving the good cause of establishing sustainable peace in the DRC, was “vile.”
Late last Thursday, a MONUSCO (the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC) Company Operating Base at Semliki in Beni territory, North Kivu, was attacked by suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) elements, resulting in a protracted fighting between the suspected armed group elements and MONUSCO and Armed Forces of the DRC, known by the French acronym, FARDC.
According to the UN Operations and Crisis Centre (UNOCC), MONUSCO advised on Sunday that 14 Tanzanian peacekeepers were killed, 44 others were wounded and one peacekeeper remains missing.
Earlier reports of 15 peacekeepers killed reflected uncertainty in accounting for personnel.
Similarly, of three soldiers who were initially reported missing, two have since returned and only one peacekeeper remains missing.
Kenyatta condoled with the families who lost relatives in the attack and wished quick recovery to those who were injured.
The President said Kenya will continue partnering with Tanzania to boost the stability of the DRC as well as the wider Great Lakes region.
He said the Government and people of Kenya will stand with the government and people of Tanzania in seeking a peaceful and prosperous future for the region.
President Kenyatta said Kenya appreciates the crucial role played by peacekeepers since it has participated in many peacekeeping missions.
The volatile North Kivu region, located in eastern DRC, has witnessed a number of attacks on UN peacekeeping forces. In October, two UN ‘blue helmets’ were killed and another 18 were injured their base was attacked by the ADF armed group.