Friday, August 16, 2013
The Kenyan soldiers in Somalia are neither engaged
in local politics nor business and are only there to fight terrorism,
the Defence Cabinet Secretary said Thursday.
Raychelle Omamo said the Kenya Defence Forces was a disciplined
military, whose mandate in Somalia was to fight terrorist groups that
posed a threat to Kenya.
The troops would only leave
once peace was restored in the troubled country, and which would be of
strategic importance to Kenya.
The KDF has liberated
large swathes of southern Somalia from Al-Shabaab, including seizing
the strategic Kismayu Port, but has been accused of propping up some
warlords and seeking to control the lucrative charcoal trade, the
lifeline of local militias.
“The KDF is a disciplined
force, which has conducted itself to the highest standards and has not
in any way been engaged in local politics or trade,” she said.
KDF is now part of the stabilising force under Amisom that will remain
in the country, until a multinational force is ready to take charge, as
the regional Heads of State Summit held in Kampala resolved recently.
Thursday, Ms Omamo said the situation in Somalia was still not stable enough to allow the withdrawal of the Kenyans troops.
will push for a strategic withdrawal that will ensure sustainable peace
and security, not only in Somalia, but also in the region,” she said.
The minister was speaking during the 15th ordinary meeting of the committee of East African chiefs of defence staff in Nairobi.