, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22- Kenya Defence Forces soldiers are now pursuing the Al-Shabaab militia deep in their hideouts, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
He says the soldiers, who are serving under AMISOM have also heightened the search and recovery operation even as uncertainty remains high over the numbers of KDF officers killed
President Kenyatta said the soldiers have already recaptured the El Adde base in Somalia after last week’s attack by the militia.
“We are at war; the nature of the threat not only locally, regionally but globally is growing. It threatens democracy, development, and the humanity’s hopes for peace,” he said.
He was speaking Friday when he visited KDF soldiers injured during the attack, and led a remembrance ceremony for the fallen soldiers at the Armed Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi.
The Head of State said the attack had revitalised the country’s resolve to weed out terror locally and the region.
“They will never stop attacking until their ability to do so is militarily destroyed, and their ideology discredited in its entirety. The Friday attack has only renewed our determination to destroy Al Shabaab and all terrorist groups that threaten Kenya,” he said.
He urged Kenyans “to understand that this is a war that requires that we be united as a nation, that we stand shoulder to shoulder to face the enemy of humanity. That we should not be deterred no matter the challenges they try to push our way.”
“Our Defence Forces are ready. Their bravery is undimmed, their skill and prowess is a credit to our nation. Let us rally around them. In our prayers let us thank God for them and ask for His protection and guidance.”
He however had a challenge for the Government of Somalia.
“I urge the government and people of Somalia to seize the opportunity to build a peace and prosperous country,” he appealed.
“You have suffered greatly in the last quarter of a century. We have walked with you, and have shed blood fighting by your side.”
President Kenyatta said it was a moment for the Somali Government to demonstrate that it is ready to build a stable and credible government, “in control of your entire territory.”
He also urged the international community to keep Somalia in the spotlight even as the world focuses in dealing with other emerging issues across the globe.
“Our success in Somalia makes your streets safer; it makes the world more secure,” the president said.
Deputy President William Ruto said the sacrifice of the fallen soldiers will never be forgotten.
“They paid the ultimate price in pursuit of peace in Somalia, peace for our region, stability and security of the world that we live in,” he said.
He assured President Kenyatta of Kenyans’ support as he makes hard decisions in securing the country.
“We stand firmly and solidly behind the decisions that you and the Commanders will make in making sure that our country is safe and that we execute our mandate in the region in making sure the world we are living is peaceful,” he said.