Legislators in Kenya have questioned whether sending troops to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) without prior parliamentary authorisation is legitimate.
On Thursday, Mr. William Kamket, the MP for Tiaty Constituency, raised a point of order to question the timeline, claiming that the letter from Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale had arrived in the House on Wednesday afternoon while President William Ruto had commissioned the troops to the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Tuesday.
“Since the officers were commissioned on Wednesday and the Cabinet Secretary has communicated today, I would like to know which comes first. So, will Parliament do a post facto analysis of what has already occurred? If not, what is the purpose of Parliament? requested Mr. Kamket.
According to Kenya’s constitution’s Article 240(8), the National Security Council may send troops abroad to support peacekeeping operations with Parliament’s consent.
Article 240 of the Constitution states that “the Council may, with the agreement of Parliament, deploy national troops outside Kenya for regional or international peace-keeping operations, other support activities, and sanction the deployment of foreign forces in Kenya.”
Moses Wetang’ula, the speaker of the National Assembly, responded by stating that the incident occurred on the same afternoon that the letter from the Cabinet secretary arrived in parliament on Wednesday morning.
The job of parliament is to authorise the deployment either before or after as long as it can help to deal with the crisis a country desires to deal with, Speaker Wetang’ula said. “In any event, deployment of troops in an emergency situation is not a leisure walk but an emergency,” he added.
In a letter to the House, Mr. Duale requested that the government swiftly authorise the deployment of Kenyan Defense Forces personnel to the DRC as part of the regional force of the East African Community. The subject will now be handled by the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, which is presided over by Mr. Nelson Koech, the MP for the Belgut Constituency.