Friday, April 13, 2012
About 850 Kenyan troops are set to return home from Somalia where they have been fighting terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
The move is designed to achieve the quota allocated to the Kenya Defence Forces since it was incorporated into Amison.
An estimated 4,600 Kenyan troops have been fighting
in Somalia after the KDF crossed the border October last year in an
operation dubbed “Linda Nchi”.
The 850 soldiers are expected home once additional troops from Sierra Leone, the latest entrant in the Amisom force, arrive.
The remaining Kenyan forces will fight alongside
Sierra Leone troops, concentrating in Somalia’s Southern sector 2 under
the command of a KDF brigadier.
President Kibaki this week appointed Major General SN Karanja Amisom’s deputy force commander in charge of operations.
Colonel Cyrus Oguna, who was KDF’s public face in Operation Linda Nchi and based in Nairobi, will also move to Mogadishu as Amisom’s military spokesperson.
The head of military intelligence at Amison will also be Kenyan.
Besides the southern sector, Amisom troops are fighting in three other areas allocated to Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti.
Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti have 13,000 troops in Mogadishu.
Sources described the area allocated to KDF as
crucial because it covers Kismayu, a port on Somalia’s coast which is
regarded as an Al-Shabaab stronghold and source of livelihood.
The port is used to smuggle weapons and contraband as well as a centre for charcoal trade.
Meanwhile, KDF and with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government soldiers last week attacked Al-Shabaab bases at Hosingo.
Two TFG soldiers were killed and six others injured
while three KDF personnel were slightly, according to a statement by
“Eight technicals and one Land Cruiser belonging to Al-Shabaab were destroyed,” the statement said.