President Uhuru Kenyatta made history on Saturday, March 18, when he visited Somalia and met the Kenyan troops serving under the AMISOM at Dhobley Military.
Dressed in full military gear, the Commander-in-Chief thanked the troops for their sacrifice and service to Kenya.
According to reports, the President told the soldiers that their motherland will be forever indebted to them for dealing with the threat of Al-Shabaab.
“Your being here in Somalia has saved many lives, and for that Kenyans will forever be indebted to you. Your presence here has at least freed people of the fear of al Shabaab,” he said.
The Dhobley Military Camp is key in the fight against al Shabaab, it is the headquarters of the African Union Mission in Somalia, a nerve centre and a log base for the UN.
President Kenyatta also promised the soldiers that the government will give them full support.
“We are talking to the new Somali Government to emphasize to them the importance of building their military so that you can go back home. That is our exit strategy,” said the Head of State.
The Somalia trip arrives barely four days after his State of the Nation address where he praised the Kenyan men and women in uniform for their commitment and dedication to secure their country.
“In defence of our motherland, and in fulfilling our international obligations to pursue peace and security, we have lost some of our gallant soldiers. These losses remind us of the threat that is upon us. I stand here today to say that these gallant sons and daughters of Kenya have not fallen in vain. Their sacrifice for our freedom and our motherland strengthens our resolve,” part of his address read.
The President’s visit to Somalia was key as it was the first meant to lift the morale of Kenyan troops.
Uhuru has visited Somali Capital Mogadishu previously but on other state engagements.