Kenya on Wednesday deployed troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of a regional military intervention to support the Congolese regime against rebels operating in eastern DRC, Kenyan President William Ruto announced.
"As neighbours, the fate of the DRC is linked to ours," President Ruto said in Nairobi at a ceremony, noting that the regional contingent also includes troops from Burundi, Uganda, and South Sudan, sent "on a mission to protect humanity."
Speaking at a ceremony in Nairobi, Ruto said the troops were "on a mission to protect humanity".
"As neighbours, the destiny of DRC is intertwined with ours," he added.
"We will not allow any armed groups, criminals, and terrorists to deny us our shared prosperity."
The group, which will also have troops from Burundi, Uganda, and South Sudan, will be commanded by Kenya.
After Kinshasa objected to Kigali's involvement in any operations within the DRC, a Rwandan detachment will be stationed along the border.
Nairobi military officials cited "clear security considerations" for their refusal to disclose the precise number of Kenyan soldiers engaged.
In the DRC, there already exists a UN force called MONUSCO, abbreviated in French.
Earlier, the Congolese government invited Uganda and Burundi to send troops to the DRC.
The M23 rebels, a largely Congolese organization, started fighting again in late 2021 after going years without engaging in combat.
They accuse the DRC government of breaking a deal to incorporate its members into the army.
In the North Kivu region, recent militia advances prompted the UN peacekeeping operation to step up its alertness and support for the Congolese army last month.
The rise of the M23 has severely affected relations in central Africa.
Rwanda denies supporting the militia, as claimed by the DRC.
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