President William Ruto Wednesday said a prayer as he handed over a flag to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops ahead of deployment to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Ruto expressed confidence that the team led by Colonel Daniel Rotich, Commander of the Kenyan contingent to the East Africa Community Regional Force (EACRF) was up to the task, as it seeks to quell violence in the conflict-hit region.
Below is the president's prayer:
"Heavenly father, before you are men and women from the Kenya Defence Forces. They are on a mission to protect humanity, to protect mothers and children and our brothers and sisters in the DRC. We pray for them as they go to execute this mandate that you will go ahead of them. Protect these men and women, and give wisdom to their commanders. Give them favour even as they work with other forces and with the people of DRC. You, heavenly father, have promised us your peace that goes beyond human understanding. We pray that as they work to create stability and security in DRC, you will give them the knowledge, and most importantly, protect them. We commit ourselves and them and their families to your safekeeping. Amen."
The president said that the mission was necessary and crucial as it "sends a signal to the world of Kenya's commitment to performing its obligations by contributing to the achievement and maintenance of peace and stability in the EAC region."
The security situation in the eastern part of DRC has been deteriorating with hundreds of residents forced to flee their homes. Fighting between the DRC army and the M23 rebels has revived hostility between the DRC and Rwanda.
The EAC has called for a ceasefire in order to provide solutions for peace and stability in the region.
"Every society deserves the opportunity to experience peace and safety. Without peace, human freedom is in jeopardy and without security, opportunities remain a mirage and unattainable," President Ruto said during the handover at Embakasi Garrison, Nairobi.
The decision to send Kenyan troops was endorsed and adopted by regional leaders at the third East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Conclave on Peace and Security in Eastern DRC held in Nairobi in June 2022.