President Uhuru Kenyatta has commended Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) for their commitment to Keeping Kenya safe, especially in the fight against terrorism.
He also applauded KDF for remaining steadfast in their mission to bring lasting peace and development in the region.
“Our nation is today faced with security challenges posed by terrorists and extremist groups whose fighting capabilities are being curtailed by our forces in different arenas including Somalia,” the President said.
He added: “I want to be perfectly clear: we will win because we have right and might on our side.”
The President spoke on Thursday when he presided over the Kenya Defence Forces officer cadets’ commissioning parade at the Kenya Military Academy at Lanet in Nakuru County, his first official function outside Nairobi after his inauguration on Tuesday.
President Kenyatta noted that terrorists have tried to create division, hatred and fear among Kenyans but have failed.
“They have utterly failed: Kenya today is more firmly united in the fight against terror than at any time in all our history,” President Kenyatta said.
As the defence and security forces continue in their efforts to keep the country safe, President Kenyatta urged all Kenyans to be alive to the fact that terrorism cannot be defeated by the military might alone.
The President emphasised that the prosperity of Kenya depends on how the crucial factors of peace, security, governance and sound economic development policies are brought to act on each other for the advancement of the society.
“Kenyans of all walks of life must work together to destroy the effectiveness of the plans of the terrorists by strengthening our national unity and retaining the values of tolerance and hope,” President Kenyatta said.
He expressed optimism that the training the cadets have received will enable them to appreciate the relationship between the factors that will improve the country, particularly the role of a professional defence force in achieving national goals.
He thanked KDF for living up to its expectations, ensuring that Kenyans of different ethnic and religious backgrounds work together in harmony as patriots guided by the values of loyalty, discipline, professionalism, integrity and a high sense of identity.
“These values need to permeate all sectors of our society in adequate measures to enable us vanquish the evils of terrorism, extremism and religious as well as political intolerance,” the President said.
Congratulating the commissioned cadets on successfully completing a rigorous and challenging course of training, the President urged them to uphold the tradition that has placed KDF above most of its peers in the continent and beyond.
“The people of Kenya – whom you have now been trained to protect with the skills and professional knowledge that you have acquired – are proud of you, as are your parents,” President Kenyatta said.
He reminded the cadets that it was a privilege for them to be selected to serve in the KDF, pointing out that ‘from those to whom much is given, much will be required’.
“As your Commander-in-Chief, I can tell you now that we will require valour in war, magnanimity in peace, and patriotism in all things. That is the tradition of the force whose officers you now are,” President Kenyatta said.
The commissioned cadets form the fourth group that has undergone the three-year training that includes an undergraduate academic component in addition to the professional and character training of old.
Cadets seconded from countries with which Kenya has warm relations including Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi were among those who attended the training.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, Chief of Defence Forces Gen. Samson Mwathethe, services commanders and Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui were present at the event