Kenya to dispatch more troops to Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia – The Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] will dispatch more soldiers to the federal republic of Somalia, it has now emerged, in the latest strategy to strengthen the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS]the lead peacekeepers in the Horn of Africa nation.
Kenya is a major troop-contributing nation to Somalia and the KDF soldiers are credited for the restoration of order in most parts of Jubaland which were initially under the Al-Shabaab extortionists. The Al-Shabaab still controls large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.
The fresh team which is set to be deployed to the fragile country has been in pre-deployment training for the last two months where they are taught how to operate in the country where Al-Shabaab attacks are frequent. This will be the second time KDF is dispatching troops under the newly formed ATMIS.
Previously, the team was known as AMISOM but has since rebranded as the peacekeepers’ train and equip local troops ahead of the much-anticipated exit. It is envisaged that in the next three years, ATMIS would have handed security responsibilities to the country.
Brigade Commander William Kamoiro said the intense training is required to face battle-hardened al Shabaab militants. Kenya first sent her troops to Somalia in 2011 under Operation Linda Nchi before the soldiers were integrated into AMISOM.
“We are currently going through a very vigorous training regime to be able to cope with the conditions in Somalia. The morale is high and we are very receptive to the training,” said the KDF commander, who serves in the logistics team that prepares the soldiers.
“We continue to exercise the integration of various capabilities and to conduct simulation exercises, both of which are requisites to validate the training objectives. It is also a measure of our mission readiness.”
When ATMIS was formed earlier this year, Kenya did send troops who are fairing on us under the new mission. Regulations by the KDF dictate that a soldier cannot serve for more than a year in the mission, with the rotational approach taken as the best strategy.
Some of the troops contributing countries include Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Others are Djibouti and Burundi and the five countries have been working tirelessly to restore order and peace in Somalia, a country that has been without a democratically elected government for several decades.