Kenyan troops integrated into AU Somalia mission

ADDIS ABABA — Kenyan troops were integrated into the African Union's peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM), with Kenya's defence minister signing an agreement at AU headquarters Saturday.
News Keydmedia Online

"We conclude the process of establishing a formal, legal framework for the integration of the Kenyan defence forces into AMISOM," Defence Minister Yusuf Haji said at the signing in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

Kenyan tanks and troops rolled into Somalia in October following a series of kidnappings and attacks on Kenyan soil believed to have been carried out by Shebab insurgents linked to Al-Qaeda.

In December, the AU said it backed the integration of Kenyan troops into its peacekeeping mission.

AU peace and security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra welcomed the official integration and said it marked progress towards defeating Shebab militants in Somalia.

"We are really opening a new chapter -- a chapter that will take us closer to... the completion of the mission in Somalia," he said.

Haji said the Kenyan contingent in AMISOM would number 4,631, boosting the force now made up of some 11,000 Burundians and Ugandans.

The re-hatting of Kenyan troops comes three days after they took the Shebab-controlled town of Afmadow, a long-term target ever since they entered Somalia.

Haji said they were inching closer to capturing the strategic port city of Kismayo, but he did not specify a timeline.

"We are not very far from Kismayo, but we can

    There are no comments for this entry yet.