Kenyan military Marks First Anniversary Since Entering Somalia
Sunday, October 14, 2012
BY BERNARD MOMANYI
Nairobi — The Kenyan military was commemorating the Kenya Defense Forces Day on Sunday to mark one year since entering Somalia.
The event was held at the 10 Engineers, Nanyuki Garrison where Chief of Defense Forces General Julius Karangi was expected to unveil a monument and lay wreaths for all soldiers killed since the war on Al Shabaab started.
Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi said the event will be marked annually.
"The day is dedicated to remembering the contributions, both past and present of those who have served or continue to serve in the Defence forces diligently," Karangi said.
Defence ministry's Communication Director Bogita Ongeri said Similar celebrations will also take place at Defence Headquarters here in Nairobi, Moi Airbase Eastleigh, Manda Naval Base, Gilgil and Kahawa Garrisons.
"On this day, the KDF will also recognize and appreciate all the support, prayers and messages of goodwill that have been forwarded to KDF during this operational period in Somalia," Ongeri said in a statement.
Defence Minister Yusuf Haji is among top government officials expected at the ceremony in Nanyuki.
Last week, Haji announced that at least 3000 Al Shabaab militants had been killed in Somalia since KDF commenced the war on them.
KDF is currently fighting under the umbrella of AMISOM whose mandate expires at the end of this month.
President Mwai Kibaki has urged AMISOM to extend the mandate to enable soldiers complete their mission.
KDF announced last week that they have made tremendous achievement in the war, having taken control of most regions previously occupied by the militant group--including the port city of Kismayu which was the group's major stronghold.