Kenya Defense Forces are carrying out the foreign policy objectives of US imperialism in East Africa. They have assaulted the southern Somalia port city of Kismayo from air and land., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 at 06:37 pm
Troops not coming home yet, says KDF
Nairobi (RBC Radio) Kenyan troops could stay longer in Somalia after the African Union mission’s mandate ends this month, Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi has said.
Saying the troops’ withdrawal would not be delayed unnecessarily, Gen Karangi said the mandate was likely to be extended beyond the October 31 deadline due to the security situation there.
He was speaking at the Military Headquarters during a visit by Brand Kenya Board that was delivering 5,000 letters written by pupils and students to the troops in Somalia.
“There is a possibility, and I have no doubt in my mind, there will be an extension depending on the security situation. KDF is not an occupation force, but is there to liberate the Somalis from Al-Shabaab,” he said. (READ: Amisom troops clear Al-Shabaab buildings)
Gen Karangi said even after peace is restored, the United Nations could allow the AU troops to maintain a presence, but on a lesser mandate of peacekeeping instead of peace enforcement.
The General said KDF troops have taken control of over 200,000 square kilometres and the operation to destroy Al-Shabaab was ongoing. Speaking at the same occasion, Defence Minister Yusuf Haji praised the troops.
“We have proven to the doubting Thomases, who have been saying Kenyans are not professional soldiers. How can you be a soldier if you are not professional? You have done what many could not do and that’s the truth,” he said.
He said over 3,000 Al-Shabaab fighters have been killed since the incursion in October last year.
Gen Karangi said the military personnel had embarked on providing water and medicine to Somalis in liberated areas, and urged the Mogadishu government to extend its reach.
Defence assistant minister Joseph Nkaissery said the KDF was ready “to respond to any threat, whether external or internal.”
Besides the 4,660 Kenyan troops, Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti have 13,000 troops fighting Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu under Amisom.