Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops serving with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), on Saturday held events to mark the KDF Day in honour of the valour and gallantry of the Kenyan soldiers on the frontline.
Observed every year since 2012, KDF Day is a commemoration of the day Kenya launched “Operation Linda Nchi” military offensive in Jubaland, Somalia on 14 October 2011 in pursuit of Al- Shabaab insurgents who had constantly carried out deadly attacks on Kenyan soil.
The day is also used to pay tribute to fallen Kenyan troops who courageously paid the ultimate price in the battlefield while defending the country.
ATMIS Sector Two Commander Brig. William Kamoiro and his Sector Six counterpart Brig.Lukas Kutto presided over the respective events held simultaneously in Dhobley and Kismayo in Jubaland, Somalia.
“Our commitment remains unshaken. We evolve, we adapt and our core objective remains unchanged,” said Brig. Kamoiro who conveyed a message from the Kenyan Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Francis Ogolla.
“We are always scanning the horizons to ensure that our strategies and capabilities are not just responsive, but proactive to any challenge to our national sovereignty,” he said.
As part of the events to mark the day, the troops laid wreaths at the memorial monument and planted trees to pay tribute to fallen colleagues and to signal a new chapter in the war against Al-Shabaab terrorists.
“This day serves as a reminder of the fortitudes and commitment of our defence forces and their relentless pursuit of peace and security for our beloved nation and our neighbor, Somalia,” said Brig. Lukas Kutto, the ATMIS Sector Two Commander.
Under “Operation Linda Nchi”, Kenyan troops in collaboration with the Jubaland security forces liberated the southern port city of Kismayo and wrestled 12 other towns in Jubaland region from Al-Shabaab control.
Kenyan troops were in February 2012, integrated into the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)-the predecessor mission to ATMIS – following a UN resolution.
Kenya is among the five ATMIS Troop Contributing Countries(TCCs) alongside Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Uganda.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).