Kenyan troops will not pull out of Somalia until the al Shabaab threat has been completely neutralized, Chief of Defense Forces Samson Mwathethe has said.
Mwathethe said Kenya will only be secure after the terror group has been decimated.
“We are in Somalia because we know that if Somalia is free of al Shabaab and terrorism, Kenya will also be free of the scourge. We must, therefore, ensure that we destroy the enemy here, to guarantee the destruction of the enemy at home,” Mwathethe added.
Mwathethe spoke during a visit to Kenyan troops at the Kuday Forward Operating Base in Badhadhe District in Lower Juba region.
He further assured the troops that they will be properly equipped to enable them execute their mandate in Amisom.
“I am happy that we have been able to provide the best equipment for the task that we have been mandated to undertake in this mission. We have, over time, appreciated your various needs,” he said.
Mwathethe also exuded confidence that the Kenya Defence Forces will soon free the region of terror.
“I am confident that with the defences that we have, with the weapons that we have and with the courage of the soldier that we have, I have no doubt that we shall execute our tasks successfully,” he said.
As part of Amisom, Kenyan troops have also participated in local community-building initiatives such as disaster response and construction of schools and bridges, among others.
Mwathethe lauded these initiatives and urged the troops to sustain them.
“The number of schoolgoing children has significantly increased and business has been thriving because of your presence in this region. This is commendable,” the CDF said.
Mwathethe told the troops that the KDF top brass and President Uhuru Kenyatta are firmly behind them.
“Even when you are here, we want you to know that we are thinking of you, we can never forget you. We wish you well and success in the execution of your mandate in Somalia,” Mwathethe noted.
The CDF was accompanied by commander of Kenya Navy Maj Gen Levi Mghalu, general officer commanding Eastern Command Maj Gen Ayub Matiri, director of Military Intelligence Maj Gen Said Farah, sector commander Amisom Sector 2 Brigadier Dickson Ruto, sector commander Amisom Sector 6, Brigadier Juma Mwinyikai, chief of operations Headquarters Kenya Army Brigadier William xShume, among other senior officers.