Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale and Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Francis Ogolla visited Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) at sector six headquarters in Kismayu, Somalia in a bid to boost their morale.
The visit was also to commemorate the festive season with them in their operation areas.
Duale while in Kismayo, Jubaland held a meeting with president Ahmed Madobe.
In his address to troops at Kismayu New Airport FOB, Duale said that the visit was to appreciate all soldiers assigned away from their families this holiday season.
He said the sacrifice they have made in the war against the terror groups and their effort to bring peace and tranquillity to Somalia is commendable.
Lt Gen Ogolla, while conveying a Christmas message from Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) Gen Robert Kibochi to troops, praised KDF soldiers for their bravery, assuring them of the support of KDF leadership to make their operational undertaking easier as well as to cater for their professional training and welfare concerns.
“We are all proud of you for the good work you are doing. We appreciate the role you are playing here for the love of your country, and the discipline, courage and dedication you have demonstrated in bringing peace and stability to Somalia. I urge you to continue being mission ready in service to humanity,” said Lt Gen Ogolla.
Sector six Commander Brig Lukas Kuto said the soldiers remained mission ready and have been carrying out their duties with integrity, urging them to maintain the spirit of teamwork.
It was the latest such visit to the area as the troops continue to push back a resurgent al-Shabaab gang.Kenyan troops are in Somalia to help in fighting the al-Shabaab terror group. KDF went to Somalia in October 2011.
Kenya’s incursion into southern Somalia started after the kidnapping of two Spanish women, who were working for MSF at the Dadaab refugee camp.
The abductions were carried out by the militants who the troops planned to push away under Operation Linda Nchi.
Two years later, the troops managed to take control of Kismayo port under Operation Sledge Hammer.