Defence Cabinet Secretary Hon. Aden Duale has underscored the significant gains made by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in restoring peace, security and stability not only in Kenya but also across the entire region of the Horn of Africa and suppressing terror activities in the country.
He said through the patriotic actions of the dedicated soldiers, the tourism sector which was becoming moribund especially along the Kenyan coast has been revamped as a result of decreased terrorism attacks from the al-shabaab militia.
The CS made the remarks today at Parliament Buildings when he appeared before the plenary session of the Senate to answer to queries from Kenyans through their representatives in the Assembly.
He informed the Senators that the Kenyan Forces have enhanced the diplomatic relations between Kenya and other Troops Contributing Countries (TCCs) as well as gaining more experience in dealing with modern day threats of terrorism and violent extremism.
“Kenya’s involvement in ATMIS has been both a commitment to national security and maintenance of regional peace, security and stability. A more stable and secure Somalia is critical for development in Eastern Africa and beyond,” the CS affirmed.
Hon. Duale told the Legislators that the drawdown of troops serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) is on course to hand over security responsibility to the Somalia Security Forces (SSF) but in a structured manner to safeguard the hard-earned gains made by the multinational troops.
He added that the drawdown which was extended on the request of the Federal Government of Somalia is ongoing with the final batch of the troops set to exit in December 2024. In the meantime, the KDF and other troops continue to enhance the capacity of SSF for a smooth transition.
“While we remain committed to fulfilling our obligations under ATMIS, any decision made for the KDF to exit Somalia should be in the best interest of the Republic of Kenya,” he affirmed.
He reiterated that Kenya owes a huge debt of gratitude to all soldiers who have been injured or paid the ultimate price in their pursuit for regional peace, security and stability adding that there’s an elaborate and a robust mechanism of compensating the injured soldiers as well as taking care of widows, orphans and dependants of the deceased service personnel.