Kenyan defense minister: We shall silence Al-Shabaab and secure Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya - Kenya's Defence Minister Aden Duale has reiterated that the East African nation is keen to silence Al-Shabaab and help secure Somalia from the cannibal group which has caused discomfort and havoc in the region for the last decade, killing thousands of people in the process.
Through the Kenya Defence Forces [KDF], Duale said, Kenya is determined to find lasting peace in the region by effectively dealing with Al-Shabaab militants. Kenya is a critical stakeholder in Somalia's peacekeeping mission which is facilitated by the African Union and other international partners.
A robust defence agreement between Kenya and Somalia is on course, Duale revealed, adding that there is a plan for the two countries to jointly pursue Al-Shabaab militants through sharing of intelligence and strengthening maritime security along common borders.
Duale, who is a veteran politician from Garissa County, made the remarks when he hosted a delegation from the federal government of Somalia led by Defence Minister Abdulkadir Nur who visited Defence Headquarters in Nairobi. Duale said KDF will continue working closely with Somalia Security Forces on matters of training and sharing of intelligence.
“Our efforts to silence Al-Shabaab are on course and eradicating threat in our region is paramount since a secure Somalia is a secure Kenya and the entire region. Our two countries have a strong history of friendship,” said Duale, who also hailed the contributions of KDF in the stabilization of Somalia.
He reiterated that enhancing the capacity and capability of the Somalia Forces is critical to prepare the soldiers to take over security responsibilities once the gradual drawdown of soldiers from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] is affected.
“We do not want to leave a security vacuum when we leave Somalia. ATMIS is receiving technical advice to see how best to exit gradually even through the help of the East Africa Standby Force so that the common enemy is defeated,” said the CS.
On his part. Nur conveyed a message of goodwill from President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia and thanked the KDF for its support in fighting Al-Shabaab and the assurance of having a structured Defence Agreement between the two countries.
Early this week, the delegation from Somalia agreed with the Kenyan team on the strategic reopening of shared border points in three phases, a move which will significantly improve trade ties between the two nations. Currently, the border points in Mandera, Wajir and Lamu are closed due to insecurity.