Bor­der unit formed to counter Shabaab

Re­ports in­di­cate mil­i­tants are set­tling along the bor­der as they flee KDF and Ami­som troops in Juba, Gedo

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Ministries - DO­MINIC WABALA @TheS­tarKenya

The Kenya De­fence Forces has set up a bor­der com­mand unit to counter the in­fil­tra­tion of al Shabaab ter­ror­ists into the coun­try, Chief of De­fence Forces Sam­son Mwathethe said on Fri­day.

He said KDF will con­tinue to sup­port the Na­tional Po­lice Ser­vice and other na­tional se­cu­rity or­gans to main­tain law and or­der.

“The newly pro­posed bor­der com­mand will play a ma­jor role in se­cur­ing our porous bor­der with So­ma­lia. In this re­gard, ad­di­tional de­ploy­ments to se­cure our bor­der with So­ma­lia from Man­dera to Lamu will con­tinue to be un­der­taken. Static, mo­bile road­blocks and check­points will con­tinue to be mounted to pre­vent the en­try of al Shabaab, ISIS and other ter­ror groups,” Mwathethe said.

He was speak­ing dur­ing the fifth KDF Day com­mem­o­ra­tion at Mtongwe Bar­racks in Mom­basa. The for­ma­tion of the unit comes as in­tel­li­gence re­ports in­di­cate al Shabaab in­creased its ac­tiv­i­ties along the Kenya-So­ma­lia bor­der in Septem­ber.

There are also re­ports that heav­ily armed al Shabaab fight­ers have been set­tling in vil­lages along the bor­der to es­cape KDF and Ami­som troops in the Gedo and Juba re­gions.

KDF TO RE­MAIN IN SO­MA­LIA

Gen Mwathethe said KDF will con­tinue to main­tain its pres­ence in So- malia until “our ob­jec­tives and those of the international com­mu­nity are achieved, in­clud­ing se­cu­rity for Kenyans and the restora­tion of peace and sta­bil­ity in So­ma­lia”.

He said such a com­mem­o­ra­tion and cel­e­bra­tions are his­tor­i­cal be­cause the mil­i­tary hon­ours fallen com­rades and pays trib­ute to those who con­tinue to ded­i­cate their lives to de­fend their na­tion.

“In all cases, this day is ded­i­cated to re­mem­ber­ing the con­tri­bu­tions, both present and past, of those who have served or con­tinue to serve in the mil­i­tary. It is a day we re­mem­ber our col­leagues who have paid the ul­ti­mate price in de­fence of our moth­er­land,” Mwathethe said.

“This is a day we com­mit to re­mem­ber­ing all mil­i­tary per­son­nel who have served this na­tion with ded­i­ca­tion and those who con­tinue to serve in de­fence of our coun­try and our peo­ple.”

Mwathethe said KDF’s op­er­a­tions in So­ma­lia over the past five years have proved that Kenya is ca­pa­ble of pro­tect­ing her­self and that KDF can op­er­ate ef­fec­tively against any en­e­mies on land, sea and air.

Mwathethe said KDF will con­tinue to send a loud mes­sage to Kenya’s en­e­mies that “we are ready at all times to de­fend our values, way of life, col­lec­tive will and sovereignty”.

He said KDF soldiers will con­tinue to be ser­vants of the peo­ple and put their lives on line at all times to de­fend the coun­try. Mwathethe urged of­fi­cers to re­main alert and vig­i­lant to de­feat en­e­mies.

MWATHETHE SAYS MIL­I­TANTS’ AC­TIV­ITY ON THE BOR­DER IN­CREASED IN SEPTEM­BER

/JOHN CHESOLI

De­fence CS Ray­chelle Omamo and Vice Chief of De­fence Forces Lt-Gen Joseph Kasaon at the Kenya Air Force base in Changamwe yes­ter­day dur­ing the han­dover of mil­i­tary equip­ment do­nated by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment

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