Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) will not leave Somalia any time soon, a senior military officer confirmed this on July 29.
KDF is currently in Somalia as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The continental body had announced that its troops would leave Somalia bv the end of 2021, which is in line with the Somali Transition Plan (STP).
However, Gen. Robert Kibochi, the Chief of Defense Forces, and the most senior officer in KDF, told Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), the state broadcaster, that the soldiers would remain in Somalia.
He confirmed that KDF is yet to achieve its objectives.
“We don’t plan to stay in Somalia forever,” Gen. Kibochi said. “Instead, we will leave once we attain our objectives.”
During his interview with KBC, Kibochi said that KDF has already enjoyed a bit of success during its time in Somalia.
He gave the example of 14 major areas that KDF soldiers already liberated from the shackles of Al-Shabaab and other militant groups.
Furthermore, Kibochi said that KDF soldiers had also stopped the smuggling of arms from Somalia, a trend that had peaked between 2011 and 2012.