Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale and Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Francis Ogolla paid a visit to Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) personnel operating as part of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) at sector six headquarters in Kismayu, Somalia, to raise morale.
The purpose of the tour was also to commemorate the holiday season with them in their operational regions.
Jubaland had a meeting with President Ahmed Madobe in Kismayo.
Duale told troops at Kismayu New Airport FOB that the visit was to thank all soldiers who were away from their family during the Christmas season.
He praised their sacrifices in the fight against terror groups and their efforts to bring peace and quiet to Somalia.
Lt Gen Ogolla praised KDF soldiers for their bravery while conveying a Christmas message from Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) Gen Robert Kibochi to troops, assuring them of KDF leadership’s support to make their operational undertaking easier as well as to cater for their professional training and welfare concerns.
“We are all proud of you and your accomplishments. We admire your position here for the love of your nation, as well as the discipline, courage, and dedication you have shown in bringing peace and security to Somalia. I urge you to remain mission-ready in your service to humanity “Lt Gen Ogolla stated.
Brig Lukas Kuto, Sector Six Commander, stated the soldiers remained mission ready and carried out their responsibilities with honesty, asking them to continue the spirit of togetherness.
It was the latest such visit to the area as forces battle a resurgent al-Shabaab band. Kenyan troops are in Somalia to assist in the fight against the al-Shabaab terrorist organisation. In October 2011, the KDF deployed to Somalia.
Kenya’s entry into southern Somalia began with the abduction of two Spanish women working for MSF at the Dadaab refugee camp.
The abductions were carried out by terrorists whom the military intended to drive away as part of Operation Linda Nchi.
Under Operation Sledge Hammer, forces took control of Kismayo port two years later.