President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) will pull out of Somalia only after terror group Al-Shabaab is defeated and stability restored.
Uhuru was speaking on Sunday during the 7th annual KDF Day at Kenyatta Barracks in Gilgil, Nakuru County.
He said KDF will maintain their presence in the war-ravaged country under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) until all terror networks are crushed.
“We went to Somalia in 2011. We shall continue our presence in the country until the restoration of full security in Somalia,” he said. “Kenyans are proud of the way their soldiers have handled themselves – in a professional, patriotic and disciplined manner.”
Mr Kenyatta appreciated the commitment of the soldiers in promoting peace initiatives further urged them to continue cooperating with other security agencies in times of disasters and emergencies.
During the ceremony, the widows were presented with mementos and certificates of appreciation.
As a way of promoting food production, Mr Kenyatta opened a Sh3.8 billion agro-processing factory within the barracks under the Kenya Ordinance Factories Corporatiopens
Farmers in Nakuru, Nyandarua, Narok, Elgeyo Marakwet and Nyeri counties who plant potatoes, kales, cabbages and carrots will benefit.
“I am happy to note that the KDF is actively supporting the Big 4 vision. This initiative by KDF addresses the pillars on food security and manufacturing,” he said.
KDF Day is marked to commemorate soldiers who died while on official duty.