State has exit plan for KDF troops in Somalia, top security bosses tell senators

PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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The Government has devised a secret strategy to withdraw the Kenya Defence Forces ( KDF) from Somalia, when the time is right. Though this plan is still under wraps, it is now evident the State is considering the option of pulling the forces out of the volatile country.

According to a senator who attended yesterday’s Senate speakers’ kamukunji (informal meeting), top security officials said the strategy to exit from Somalia was always on the cards, but it was interfered with after Kenya joined the African Union Mission in Somalia. The senator said the security officers declined to give details of the planned pull out from Somalia, only asking for more time so as not to jeopardise the process.

“They said they have an exit strategy, but they will not share it with the public, not now,” said the senator from the Government’s side. Sources said top security bosses were hard pressed to explain KDF’s continued stay in Somalia despite the persistent attacks by Al-Shabaab.

The meeting brought together all security chiefs, who included Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and his Defence counterpart Raychelle Omamo, Interior Principal Secretary Monica Juma, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett, his two deputies Samuel Arachi and Grace Kaindi, Director of the Criminal Investigations Department Ndegwa Muhoro and the National Intelligence Service Director General Philip Kameru.

The meeting is said to have also discussed the security situation in North Eastern, best practices to counter terrorism, the controversial recruitment of officers and cattle rustling. Senators who attended the meeting said there was serious concerns on the deteriorating state of Kenya’s security. Senate Security Committee Chairman Yusuf Haji said they have resolved to hold a retreat for all stakeholders on security in the country.

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