UN extends Amisom mandate in Somalia by 12 months
Kenya Defence Forces will be in Somalia for longer after the United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of Amison for a further one year.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychell Omamo on Thursday said Kenya welcomed the extension of the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia.
“The presence of KDF men in Somalia has helped not only weaken the Al-Shabaab but the liberation of key towns,” she said.
Ms Omamo appealed for more assistance in defeating Al-Shabaab even as it focuses on intelligence gathering rather than military might in crushing the faceless and deadly enemy.
This comes even as the militants reportedly issued a new video on their website threatening to carry out attacks on towns and other targets inside Kenya.
The Defence CS urged cooperation from other countries in defeating the “fluid enemy”, saying the war on terrorism cannot be won by Kenya alone.
She said terrorists across the world were now persuaded by several pseudo-religious and philosophical persuasions and were involved in other international and transnational crimes such as drug and human trafficking, money laundering, kidnapping, illicit trafficking in firearms and mercenarism.
“Terrorists do not fit any age or gender profile. Nor are they identifiable by class or other sociological factors. Their choices of target is indiscriminate. They are, and could be anyone, anywhere and anytime,” she said.
Personnel, material and intelligence sharing has been found to be more potent in degrading the criminal elements rather than use of military strength, she said.
The CS was speaking during a meeting with senior military officials from several European and African countries at the International Peace Training Centre in Karen.
Ms Omamo noted that intelligence sharing is not only effective in combating terrorism but also in stemming the spread of the threat across borders.
Ways of dealing with foreign combatants, returnees from theatres of conflict as well as radicalisation and recruitment of youth into Al-Shabaab and other global terror networks were also highlighted.
The most effective way of dealing with the situation, it was found, was information exchange among countries and collective surveillance.
The formation of the East African Community Counter-Terrorism Strategy that seeks to enhance intelligence sharing in the region was also lauded.
Defence Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo urged the West not to stigmatise and isolate countries that have born the brunt of terror threat since terrorism was a global crime and knows no borders.
“Let’s not isolate countries that find themselves at the frontline of the terror threat but instead help them fight an enemy that knows no national boundaries,” he said.