President Uhuru Kenyatta has lauded efforts by the Kenya Defence Forces in the fight against terrorism both in Somalia, and closer home.
He also praised the military for the role they are playing in Boni forest, Lamu County, as part of the Multi Agency Force, ridding the region of terrorists and other criminals.
He said their engagements have greatly degraded Al Shabaab’s ability to attack.
“When this entire region is finally at peace, it will be because the men and women of this Service fought bravely for peace, for prosperity, and for freedom and equality under law,” said the President.
President Kenyatta, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, was speaking Thursday during the recruits pass out parade at their training school in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.
He said one of his essential duties, as the Commander-in-Chief is the protection of Kenyans and the preservation of Kenya’s integrity under the constitution.
The President said in defence of our motherland and in the pursuit of peace and security, some of the gallant soldiers have paid the ultimate price noting that the losses are a reminder that the threat is still there.
“I stand here today to say that these sons and daughters of Kenya have not fallen in vain. Their sacrifice for our freedom strengthens our resolve to fight the enemy, and to destroy him once and for all,” said the president.
He told the new recruits that they are now entering a war in which they will be required to be devoted and demonstrate their creativity.
“I have no doubt that you will serve Kenya faithfully, holding nothing back. So I thank you, and pray for God’s blessings upon you, both today, and throughout your service,” President Kenyatta said.
Reminding them that today’s celebration is just the beginning of their military career, President Kenyatta called on the new recruits to continuously engage in training to ensure that the military maintains levels of performance attained by their predecessors.
“Your success – indeed that of the entire military – will depend on your integrity, discipline and loyalty, not just to your country and its government – as the oath of allegiance states – but also to your superiors and peers,” said the President.
The Head of State, pointed out that the Kenya Defence Forces remain a symbol of the country’s nationhood and a leading example of its unity.
He said the forces unity and cohesion stand as proof of the greatness that can be achieved when all Kenyans live in harmony.
President Kenyatta therefore, urged all Kenyans to emulate the example of the country’s forces who serve the country selflessly and diligently.
“Its members are drawn from every community, every region, and every religion of this nation,” said the President.
He said the nation values the unique contribution of each member of the Kenya Defence Forces serving the country – often in difficult situations – to keep the peace, and to protect our values.
“We also recognize the contributions that our Defence Forces continue to make to our country as a whole, especially in turning their skills and assets to development projects across the country,” said the President.
The President commended every member of the Kenya Defence Forces for their professional conduct during operations in support of civil authority.
Present were the Defence Forces Cabinet Secretary, Raychelle Omamo, Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe, service commanders and other senior military and government officers.