Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta has affirmed that his country will continue working with African Union Mission In Somalia (AMISOM) in the fight against al-Shabaab and peace restoration in Somalia.
Speaking at Kenya military recruit passing out parade in Eldoret town, Uhuru said troops from Kenya will continue working under the framework of AMISOM.
“Not only does this bring peace, security, and stability to a neighboring state with which we share deep historic bonds, it also provides our nation with safety and security from terror groups and other asymmetrical threats,” the president told the soldiers.
He said Kenya has always stood together with all nations and peoples of the world, who adhere to the universal principles of utmost respect for human rights, democracy and freedom.
“KDF has a track record for discipline and respect that is recognized nationally and internationally,” said the president.
Kenyatta called on the new officers to keep the tradition of the Kenya Defense Forces of being among the best soldiers in the world.
“We shall never waver from that solemn commitment, and each graduand today should expect to be called upon to continue that tradition wherever the demands of keeping the peace may require,” said Kenyatta.
The president said the current training program is informed by the new challenges Kenya is facing including cross-border threats such as terrorism and other forms of trans-boundary criminal activities.
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The East African nation sent troops to Somalia in 2011 to neutralize Al-Shabaab fighters who were accused of kidnapping several people from Kenya.
A year later, the UN Security Council gave Kenya the green light go-ahead to join AMISOM, a decision that meant the treasury would not bear the full costs of the incursion.
Though Kenya has never made public the number of its troops killed or amount of money it has spent on the war on Al-Shabaab, the country suffered the highest death toll when compared to its AMISOM partners. Key among the numbers which remain a military secret is how many soldiers died in the twin Kulbiyow (2017) and El Adde (2016) attacks.