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Defence CS Monica Juma.

Fifth Estate

Defence CS Monica Juma’s message to troops in Somalia on KDF Day

I take this opportunity to salute our soldiers who are deployed in various Forward
Operating Bases in Somalia on this auspicious day when we commemorate the Kenya
Defence Forces Day.

The 14th October – of every year, since 2011, is set aside in the Ministry of Defence to
remember the ultimate sacrifice that your colleagues have paid in search for peace in
our neighbouring country, Somalia.

As your Cabinet Secretary, I am deeply grateful for the privilege to provide strategic guidance,
work and be associated with patriotic, brave men and women that everyday guarantee our
nation’s safety and security – who have answered to a higher calling to defend the
territorial integrity and sovereignty of our motherland, and to protect the freedoms of
Kenyans.

Since the KDF entered the Somalia theatre, Al Shabaab activities have significantly
reduced, and while this terrorist group remains a threat, its ability to operate has been
greatly degraded.

Your contribution to AMISOM remains a game-changer and for this, I salute each and every one of you today. As we recall our journey, I urge each one of you: “do not drop your guard.’

Our success each day is key to defeating the Al Shabaab and restoring peace and stability to our neighbourhood. A secure and safe Somalia, able to provide security in its territory and secure its borders with its neighbours, translates to a peaceful East Africa and continent, Africa.

Your ability to operate in a difficult environment, away from your families is the testimony of
your unwavering love for your country and our nation’s duty of care for regional and global
peace and stability.

Your professional performance continues to make Kenya a respected country among the Community of Nations.

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The theme of this year’s KDF Day is Humanitarian Civil Assistance and in this regard, I
wish to commend you for the support you continue to offer to the Somalia communities in
your areas of operation.

We must continue to promote the well-being of the people amongst whom we live – offer them medical support, water, training, construction of learning facilities and equipping them.

This is because we exist to improve the wellbeing of the people and to create an enabling environment for productive activities.

As you continue to keep us safe at home, I urge you to continue watching over each other,
in the operational areas, every minute of the day. Nothing could have made any Kenyan
prouder than a picture circulating during Ramadhan of KDF soldiers standing guard to
watch over their brothers pray.

This act, because we believe in the freedom and sanctity of religion and worship – and stand ready to defend it.

Your families at home have made an equally big sacrifice of offering you to serve our
motherland – Kenya. And to them I say thank you very much, you are part of our effort to
deliver on peace.

The Ministry of Defence stands steadfast and will continue to support our operations. We
have your backs – so go forth you gallant sons and daughters of Kenya, to defend and
protect the Republic of Kenya and all its citizens.

We shall not tire to support you –providing you with the requisite provisions that will make your work easier and efficient.

Once again, thank you for your selfless service to our motherland. As the Commander in
Chief always underscores, our nation remains ever grateful for your loyal service.

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KUDOS to you all!

I wish each one of you a happy KDF Day.

The author, Dr. Monica Juma, is Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Defence.

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