MP Petitions Parliament Seeking Withdrawal of KDF From Somalia

  • Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers currently deployed to Somalia could return to Kenya if a new petition submitted to the National Assembly is successful.

    Mandera East MP Omar Maalim called for the troops to exit the country immediately stating that the mission's objectives were no longer being achieved.

    Maalim lamented that since their deployment seven years ago for 'Operation Linda Nchi', terror attacks by the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab group in Kenya had increased significantly.

    He called for the 4,000 officers serving in Somalia to be used in securing Kenya's 'porous' borders instead.

    Acknowledging the circumstances in which KDF had been first deployed to Somalia, Maalim stated that the situation was made worse by the troops' integration into the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

    [caption caption="Mandera East MP Omar Maalim"][/caption]

    Operation Linda Nchi was launched by former President Mwai Kibaki after a series of kidnappings of tourists along the border dealt the vital hospitality and tourism sector a major blow.

    Omar asserted that the mission needed to be shelved as the initial objectives were no longer in focus and terror attacks in the country posed a bigger threat.

    “We are concerned this objective is no longer being achieved, with Kenya suffering more terror attacks from al Shabaab than before,” he stated.

    Maalim referenced the 2013 Westgate Mall attack, the 2015 Garissa University ordeal and the 2014 Mpeketoni attacks.

    The attacks orchestrated by Al-Shabaab left 69, 149 and 60 people dead respectively.

    “The secondary effects of the terror attacks have included a decline of health, education, economy and living standards due to desertion by health workers, teachers and other migrant workers,” the lawmaker noted.

    [caption caption="President Uhuru Kenyatta salutes Kenya Defence Forces soldiers at Dhobley Camp in Somalia on March 18, 2017"][/caption]