Kenyan soldiers in Somalia are not about to come home anytime soon, their Commander-in-Chief, Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
He said the reason the soldiers crossed the border are yet to be achieved and KDF will stay in Somalia until the country regains peace and stability. “Somalia should be defended by the Somalis themselves. But as good neighbours, we, under Amison, will continue to work with the Somali government to restore peace and security in that country,” Uhuru said, hours before he flew to London to attend a conference on Somalia.
He briefed journalists at State House, Nairobi, on Tuesday night. The President left for London yesterday to attend the 3rd London Conference on Somalia. The conference will focus on accelerating the progress of security reforms in Somalia, build on the international response on the ongoing drought and humanitarian crisis and agree on the new international partnership needed to keep the Horn of Africa nation on course.
The first such conference was held in 2012 and the second one in 2013.
Kenya, under the Operation Linda Nchi banner, dispatched her soldiers to Somalia on October 16, 2011.
Although Somalia has an elected government and some parts of the capital are relatively peaceful, al Shaabab militants have continued to target government installations, officials and Amison soldiers. Kenya, Uganda and Burundi have lost hundreds of soldiers following attacks by al Shabaab. Apart from the three countries, other regional neighbours who have soldiers in Somalia are Djibouti and Ethiopia. “The conference is not about Somalia. It is about our region. It is imperative that when there are issues regarding security in one country, we deal with them as a region,” Uhuru said.