Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday reiterated that troops will keep fighting al-Shabab militants in Somalia until peace and stability is restored to the region.
Kenyatta said Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) which is part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) will continue their work in Somalia until the Horn of African nation returns to full normalcy.
“Our defence forces remain steadfast in their mission to bring peace and lasting stability in the horn of Africa region with unwavering zeal and determination,” he said in Gilgil when he commissioned the sixth batch of military cadets after three-year training.
The military cadets underwent three years of rigorous training as part of ongoing reform efforts to keep Kenya’s military on par with the best in the world.
“And in pursuance of this objective and that of the international community our troops will continue being part of AMISOM until such time that our objective has been achieved,” Kenyatta said.
Since the Kenyan soldiers crossed into Somalia in 2011, Islamist militants have staged a string of attacks in Kenya, including April 2, 2015 massacre at Garissa University that left 148 students dead and a 2013 assault on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall that killed 67.
Kenyatta called on the new officers to keep the tradition of the Kenya Defence Forces of being among the best soldiers in the world.
“KDF has a track record for discipline and respect that is recognized nationally and internationally,” said the president.
Security experts have said poor command structures and failure to share intelligence have hampered the work of the security forces hence the training.
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.
The newly commissioned officers have been trained under the new curriculum which incorporates academic and character development studies leading to the award of a Bachelors degree in military and security studies.
This is besides the professional military training which predominantly entails tactics and physical endurance required to survive in the battle field.
The degree course is administered by the Kenya Military Academy in partnership with Kenyatta University.
Kenyatta said the training was revamped to respond to the complex nature of security challenges facing Kenya and the world, and is tailored to produce highly competent military officers not just for Kenya but for allied neighboring countries as well.