Today from Hiiraan Online:
Kenyan lauds role of soldiers in peacekeeping mission
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on Friday lauded Kenya Defense Forces for its contribution to the peacekeeping mission internationally particularly in pacifying Somalia.
Speaking during the pass-out paraded in Eldoret, Kibaki commended the soldiers whose cross border incursion into southern Somalia helped in stabilizing the Horn of Africa nation, for utilizing their skills to spearhead development projects all over the country.
The president also paid tribute to the members of the KDF for the successful planning and execution of Operation Linda Nchi and their current involvement in the AMISOM operation under the African Union.
“This is a tremendous task that your fellow countrymen have bestowed upon each one of you. It is our hope that you will carry that responsibility with the honor it deserves throughout your career,” Kibaki said.
Kenyan forces that crossed into Somalia mid October 2011 have intensified military crackdown inside southern Somalia to push back Al-Shabaab, blamed by Kenya for a series of cross-border kidnappings.
The militant group has also come under pressure from AU peacekeepers, who recently pushed them out of the outskirts of Somali capital Mogadishu, and from Ethiopia, which seized Baidoa town recently.
AMISOM which crossed into the Horn of the African nation in 2007 and which has a long comprised of Ugandan and Burundi troops recently registered a string of successes against Al-Shabaab militia who had seized much of the central and southern Somalia.
President Kibaki said the country takes pride in the high professional standards that have been the hallmark of the Defense Forces since the military personnel were deployed in United Nations’ Peacekeeping Missions in various continents including Africa, Europe and Asia.
He said the government particularly recognized the immense contribution that the KDF continued to make to the communities and the country as a whole.
He told new Service Members that Kenyans entrusted them with the responsibility of serving in the noble military profession which is charged with defending the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The new soldiers will be joining others in the service of their motherland after completing a vigorous six-month training program at the recruits training college.
He encouraged them to uphold integrity, discipline and loyalty to the country and the government as prescribed in the oath of allegiance while at the same time giving themselves selflessly and diligently to the various tasks and responsibilities assigned.
The participation of the military personnel in these missions, the President noted, reflects the confidence that the United Nations organization, and the Security Council in particular, have in the nation’s Defense Forces.
Kibaki emphasized the need to work hard to uphold the good reputation, adding that the KDF have continued to be a symbol of nationhood in addition to serving with distinction in peace- keeping operations.
The president acknowledged the organization and the relationship between members from different communities of Kenya in the military forces, living and working together as a wonderful example of the country’s unity potential.
Kibaki asked the soldiers to always aim at enhancing both the image and performance of the country’s soldiers both locally and internationally.
“That is a country in which all the citizens live in harmony irrespective of tribe, race, religion, gender or social status,” he said.
Kibaki urged the country’s security personnel to guard against irresponsible behavior that may jeopardize their personal health, safety or the reputation of the Defense Forces.
“From here, and based on your potential, you will be posted to various units, formations and services of the Defense Forces to begin your career,” the President said.
He reminded the officers that their vocation as soldiers in the Defense Forces demanded continuous training and personal sacrifice to ensure effective and efficient performance.
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