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Kenya ready to defend itself, says Defence Cabinet Secretary Omamo
The Cabinet Secretary for Defence Raychelle Omamo (left) confers with Major General Francis Nthenge (right) during the International Day of UN Peacekeepers held at the UN Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi, May 29, 2013. Ms Omamo said the country is ready to defend itself against external aggression including from Somalia’s militia group Al-Shabaab. STEPHEN MUDIARI
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo has said the country is ready to defend itself against external aggression including from Somalia’s militia group Al-Shabaab.
Ms Omamo said the Kenya Defence Forces was still keeping an eye on the militia.
Her statement comes in the wake of attacks on two police camps on the Kenya-Somalia border. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility.
“Our (Defence Ministry) mandate is to protect the territorial integrity of our county and we will do so and we are ready to do so. We are not incapacitated in any way. The Forces will continue to discharge the role given to them by the Constitution,” she said Wednesday.
Ms Omamo spoke during a ceremony to commemorate the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers held at UNEP headquarters in Gigiri, where she was the chief guest.
During the ceremony, Ms Omamo praised Kenyan troops, who are part of peace missions across the world, saying they had done a good job.
“Kenya’s peace missions have done a good job worldwide and have improved the reputation of the country,” she said.
Presently, the country has troops serving in six countries—Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Lebanon, Somalia and Liberia.
Ms Omamo said Kenya would continue to contribute forces to the various peace missions as requested by the international community even though it had lost “62 soldiers in the last two decades".
This year’s commemorative ceremonies came at a time when the services of United Nations peacekeepers continue to be in great demand. There are nearly 80,000 military personnel, 12,500 police officers and 17,000 international civilian and national staff serving in 15 peacekeeping operations on four continents.
According to the UN, more than 100 soldiers lost their lives in various peacekeeping missions across the world last year.
Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Nairobi Martin Kimani said the country will continue to work with the global body to ensure all the peace missions were successful.
Last Saturday, Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for killing five people including two police officers in an attack on Damajale and Adisugow administration police camps situated on the Kenya’s Somalia border.
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