The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) yesterday marked its first anniversary since entering Somalia after it declared war on the Al-Shabaab militia.
The pursuit of Al-Shabaab was prompted by a spate of kidnappings of foreigners in northern Kenya.
“Our territorial integrity is threatened with serious security threats of terrorism, we cannot allow this to happen at all,” said the then Internal Security Minister George Saitoti.
“It means we are now going to pursue the enemy, who are the Al-Shabaab, to wherever they will be, even in their country,” he said as KDF began the pursuit of the militia group.
Last year, Al- Shabaab kidnapped two Spaniards, both logistics officers with the aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres, who were abducted from Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp.
The militia group also kidnapped a French and a British national at the coastal regions dealing a major blow to the tourism sector.
Recently, KDF managed to capture Kismayu, the stronghold of the Al-Shabaab militia.
KDF, operating under the African Union forces (Amisom) and the Somali National Army (SNA) have tightened control of Kismayu and have occupied the city’s new airport and the Central Police Station.
“Kismayu is finally under control of the Amisom and Somali National Army and the people of Kismayu have received them with cheers,” Department of Defence spokesman, Major Emmanuel Chirchir told Nation.
Amisom Sector II Commander, Brig. Antony Ngere, said AU and SNA troops had continued to exercise utmost caution to avoid harming civilians. “The international community and humanitarian agencies have been urged to expedite the provision of much needed humanitarian assistance to the needy population,” he said.
Brig Ngere said Amisom troops would ensure safety of employees of the relief agencies.