Kenyan troops formally join AMISOM
Nairobi (Alshahid)-Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops fighting Alshabab militants in Somalia are now formally under the command of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
A total of 4664 Kenyan personnel are being integrated into AMISOM, bringing the AMISOM force strength to slightly over 17,000 troops out of a total authorized strength of 17,731.
The Kenyan contingent joins those from Burundi, Djibouti and Uganda. Sierra Leone is due to send a battalion in the near future.
The ceremony for the transfer of command took place in Nairobi at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defence.
Special representative of the chairman of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Boubakar Diarra thanked Kenyans and the Government for responding to the union’s invitation to join AMISOM.
“We are proud to welcome our brothers and sisters from Kenya in this African effort to help the people of Somalia,” he said.
The mission was deployed in Somalia in 2007 under UN and AU authorization.
Somali government forces backed by AMISOM troops have regained control of the Somali capital Mogadishu and a number of key towns on its outskirts while Kenyan troops pushed the militant forces out of towns along the common border with Somalia.