The Cabinet Secretary for Defence, Hon. Aden Duale has today projected Kenya as a regional peace hub and an anchor State in the Horn of Africa and the entire continent saying Kenya is a renown country in supporting peace, security and stability whenever called upon.
He maintained that, by being a member of the United Nations (UN) family after signing the UN Charter, Kenya is always under obligation to deploy troops for peace keeping processes in any country whenever called upon to protect the lives of civilians.
Hon. Duale made the remarks when he hosted the UN Military Advisor in the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) General Birame Diop who paid him a courtesy visit at the Defence Headquarters in Nairobi.
The CS noted that Kenya has actively participated in peace processes in Ethiopia (Tigray region), Somalia and currently in the Democratic Republic of Congo under the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF).
The CS hailed UN for their efforts in supporting peace processes in the Horn of Africa and beyond adding that Kenya is the home of the UN by the fact that it hosts a number of it’s bodies among them UNEP, UNDP, UNICEF among others.
“We are a key player in opening up the humanitarian corridor and we are deeply convinced that everyone has something to offer in peace processes. We therefore need to harmonize and synchronize our operations since we believe that together as EACRF and MONUSCO, we shall achieve more in our endeavour to bring stability in our neighborhood and the entire region,” said the CS.
He expressed his gratitude on the steps made in Somalia under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) in neutralizing the Al-Queda linked militia (Al-Shabaab) saying the Somali Security Forces is being prepared to take over to defend and protect their nation once the mission ends.
General Diop who conveyed the greetings from the UN Secretary General Antònio Guterres applauded the Kenyan efforts in peace keeping saying it has yielded much results over the years.
He maintained that the UN remains steadfast in supporting peace operations as per the existing bilateral framework between Kenya and the UN.
“We are impressed that Kenya is holding key positions under EACRF in efforts to bring peace and stability in DRC. We have a collective responsibility to participate in peace building activities,” said Gen. Diop.
During the meeting, the CS was accompanied by the Vice Chief of Defence Forces (VCDF) Lieutenant General Francis Ogolla and Chief of Strategy, Policy and Planning Brigadier Richard Mwanzia.
Afterwards, the visiting General held closed-door meeting with the VCDF where they discussed various issues of convergence among them peace and security in the region.
During the session, the VCDF was accompanied by the Assistant Chief of Defence Forces in charge of Personnel and Logistics (ACDF P&L) Major General Muthuri Kiugu, Director of International Peace Support Training School (IPSTC) Brigadier Joyce Sitienei, Brigadier Mwanzia among others.