, NAIROBI, June 30 – Kenya is appealing to the international community to mount a decisive intervention programme to address the twin challenges of extremist insurgency in Somalia and piracy off its coastline and the Indian Ocean waters.
President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday said the situation is out of hand and urged for international intervention.
“The deteriorating situation in Somalia has been a key security challenge. Today, this challenge has graduated from being a regional problem to a global challenge. There is now urgent need to address the twin challenges of extremist insurgency in Somalia and piracy off the Somali coastline and the Indian Ocean waters,” the President said.
President assured Kenyans that the government was deploying adequate security personnel along the country’s border with Somalia to meet the insecurity posed by the instability in the neighbouring country.
President Kibaki, who was speaking during the commissioning of Officer Cadets at the Kenya Military Academy, Nakuru, said the deteriorating situation in Somalia remains a key security threat to Kenya among other neighbours and has graduated from a regional challenge to a global problem.
The President expressed the government’s total commitment to working closely with other IGAD member states, the African Union and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia in search for sustainable peace.
With regard to the ongoing East African integration process, to serve the country’s economic and security interests, President Kibaki affirmed the government’s full commitment to making operational the Eastern African Standby Brigade as per the roadmap of the African Standby Force.
The President observed that Kenya had deployed 850 soldiers as peacekeepers, military observers and staff officers in Southern Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Darfur.
The President emphasized that the country had made great strides towards deepening cooperation with other East African countries in addition to her participation in peace keeping in troubled parts of the world.
“The presence of cadets from Uganda who have undergone this training alongside our own cadets demonstrates my Government’s commitment to the ideals of East African integration which serves our economic and security interests”, President Kibaki said.
On professional standards in the military, the Head of State reminded the commissioned young officers that the military the world over was faced with proliferation of security challenges and technological changes that require new and innovative approaches.
The President, on that note, challenged the military to continually upgrade their knowledge and skills in order to keep pace with a rapidly changing society and adapt to new situations and change as the situation demands.
President Kibaki announced plans to upgrade the Kenya Military Academy, an affiliate of Egerton University, to a degree awarding institution in the near future as part of the government efforts towards ensuring that military officers are well equipped to effectively discharge national and international security obligations.
“To facilitate further studies, a number of training programmes have been initiated by our Armed Forces in partnership with local universities”, said the President.
President Kibaki, therefore, urged the officers, who have undergone 20 months of vigorous training, to take full advantage of the available training opportunities as they form the basis of a successful and rewarding career.
He called on the commissioned officers to be diligent in their work and to uphold the dignity and good image of the Kenyan Armed Forces at all times and in all places while at the same time remaining loyal to the country and the Government as prescribed in the oath of allegiance they swore to uphold.
In attendance were Defence Minister Mohammed Yusuf Haji, Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet Amb. Francis Muthaura and the Chief of General Staff Gen. Jeremiah Kianga among other invited guests.