Reported attacks by the rebel Allied Defence Forces (ADF) in the Beni area of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) saw speedy response from the Kenyan quick reaction force (QRF).
The force is one of a number attached to, but not necessarily operating in conjunction with MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), and was tasked with area dominance patrols in Ofai, Badimbesi, Sesa and Idohu on the Komanda/ Beni road. This after attacks were reported on civilians and FARDC, the Congolese armed forces.
The Kenyan blue helmets went on patrol to assess the situation, disrupt illegal armed groups and reassure the local population in the affected areas. While at Ofai FARDC camp, the patrol heard gun shots and responded a Kenya Army statement said. The patrol found a number of civilians killed by the attackers as well as a nursing mother infant with multiple gunshot wounds.
“The patrol repelled the attackers, administered first aid to the injured mother and her infant and transferred them to a local health centre for specialised treatment,” the statement continues adding “protection of civilians remains a paramount mandate for the blue helmets”. In accordance with United Nations (UN) guidelines on child protection, the infant was handed to the local administration at the hospital for further attention.
“The Kenyan QRF intensified patrols in the area to deny ADF freedom of movement and action preventing further atrocities.”