Kenya’s legislators have raised questions on the legality of deploying troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) without parliamentary approval.
Mr William Kamket, the MP for Tiaty Constituency, Thursday rose on a point of order questioning the sequence of events, saying the letter from Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale came to the House on Wednesday afternoon while President William Ruto commissioned the troops to DRC on Tuesday afternoon.
“I would like to know what comes first, because the officers were commissioned yesterday (Wednesday) and the Cabinet Secretary has communicated today. Is Parliament therefore going to do a post facto review of what has already happened or what is the role of Parliament? asked Mr Kamket.
Article 240 (8) of the Kenyan constitution states that the National Security Council, with approval of Parliament, deploys troops outside Kenya for peace support operations.
Approval of Parliament
“The Council may, with the approval of Parliament, deploy national forces outside Kenya for regional or international peace support operations, other support operations and approve the deployment of foreign forces in Kenya,” reads Article 240.
But in response, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula said the letter from the Cabinet secretary came to parliament on Wednesday morning and the event happened on the same afternoon.
“In any case, deployment of troops in an emergency situation is not a leisure walk but an emergency and the role of parliament is to approve the deployment either before or after as long as it can help to deal with the situation a country desires to deal with,” Speaker Wetang’ula said.
In his letter to the House, Mr Duale asked parliament to approve rapid deployment of Kenya Defence Forces personnel to the East African Community regional force to the DRC for peacekeeping operations.
The Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, which is chaired by Mr Nelson Koech, the MP for Belgut Constituency, will now handle the matter.