By Eliud Waithaka
Thursday January 28, 2021
Cabinet Secretary for Defence Monica Juma, her UK counterpart Ben Wallace and UK High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot speaking to Uk and KDF soldiers at BATUK on Tuesday./ELIUD WAITHAKA
Kenya Defence Forces deployed to Somalia under African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) will not be withdrawn before the matter is discussed and the resolution ratified by the UN Security Council, Defence CS Monica Juma has said.
Juma on Tuesday maintained that it is not for Kenya to decide on withdrawal of the security troops, adding that Amisom operations are ongoing because they are not defined by bilateral relations.
“The withdrawal is the mandate of the African Union which is the authorizing agency. It is not us to decide when to get in or out,” Juma told journalists at the British Army Training Unit in Kenya (BATUK).
Juma had accompanied United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace in opening Nyati barracks at BATUK in Nanyuki town where the two supported continued training British and Kenya Army soldiers.
Juma said the joint partnership between the two forces created a platform for training and preparedness, adding that it is historical and which has valuable.
The two noted that Kenyan troops have been in Somalia long enough and have learnt a lot from terror groups such as al shabaab and share the same with the British troops training in the country who also in turn share their military experiences of their excursions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Putting that knowledge together and joint training personnel helps keep Kenyans safe when they are doing this job because the bombers are crafty, clever and dangerous,” said Wallace.
Wallace added that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the last troop of visiting troops from UK arrived on Sunday, noting that there are about 200 troops who are permanently based in Nanyuki.
“It’s an exciting future we’re holding as well as we view Kenya as a standard bearer of top quality professionalism in its military in the region of shared values and also that we have a shared enemy the Al Shabaab who target Kenyans, tourists and all the values we stand for,” Wallace added.
The Secretary of state added that now that both Kenya and the UK were both members of the United Nations Security Council, they would work closely to ensure that there was stability in the Horn of Africa and the entire East Africa region.
“Britain and Kenya are now together this year on the Security Council, Britain is the Chair while Kenya has taken up its place on the same, that’s good news, and we’ve jointly gone through the four priorities for Kenya that is climate change, counter terrorism, nation building and regional stability and that’s where Britain agrees completely with Kenya,” Wallace said.