KDF deserves kudos

What you need to know:

  • The KDF troops have been a part of the African Union Mission in Somalia, to help rebuild a government in the war-torn country.
  • One of the most effective weapons against Al-Shabaab is to block its access to finances.

The Kenya Defence Forces has just marked an anniversary that engenders pride for a job well done and pain for the sacrifices made in its mission in Somalia. The KDF troops have been in Somalia for 10 years to help restore law and order.

Though there are still some isolated incidents, the objective, which was to create a buffer zone between Al-Shabaab terrorists and the Kenya-Somalia border, has largely been achieved.

Initially on its own, KDF seized control of the port city of Kismayu, denying the terrorists an avenue for imports of contraband and charcoal exports to finance its bloody insurgency.

For the larger part of the campaign, the KDF troops have been a part of the African Union Mission in Somalia, to help rebuild a government in the war-torn country.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma has used the commemoration of the KDF Day to salute the soldiers deployed in Somalia for the gallant job they have done under serious challenges.

Search for peace

Since 2011, October 14 is the day that has been set aside by the Ministry of Defence to remember those who have paid the ultimate price in the search for peace in Somalia. And to those still serving, it's a recognition of commitment to ensuring national safety by defending territorial borders and sovereignty.

While the terrorist group remains a threat, as the CS stated, its ability has been greatly degraded. A secure Somalia means a peaceful East Africa.

One of the most effective weapons against Al-Shabaab is to block its access to finances. A UN report that says the group made an equivalent of Sh1.3 billion in nine months is disturbing.

With such funds reaching it, Al-Shabaab will cause more mayhem in Somalia and in Kenya. Its ability to move millions of dollars through the banking system to invest in real estate across the region must be stifled.