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ATMIS boss hails Kenya’s contribution to peace in Africa

Adorned in the vibrant colours of their Maasai attire, Kenyan nationals in Somalia, alongside peacekeepers serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), commemorated Kenya’s 60th independence anniversary also known as ‘Jamhuri Day.’

The celebrations took place at the Force Headquarters in Mogadishu.

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This significant occasion marked the culmination of Kenya’s journey to independence from British colonial rule on 12 December 1963, following six months after gaining internal self-rule that commenced on 1 June the same year.

ATMIS Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding, officiating the ceremony, acknowledged and commended Kenya for its contributions to regional and continental peace.

“Kenya as a nation has played a crucial role in the stability and development of the continent, and I would like to applaud the courage and professionalism of the troops, the police and military officers, including the civilians serving in the mission. Their efforts and contribution are profoundly recognised,” said Lt. Gen. Okiding.

Reflecting on Kenya’s independence struggle and its vital role in fostering regional peace and shared prosperity that led to the formation of the East African Community (EAC) in the early 60’s, Lt. Gen. Okiding singled out Kenya’s crucial role in restoring peace and stability in Somalia.

“The bravery of the Kenyan troops serving in the mission is on record. If there is any mission that Africa should be proud of, it should be this one, because the success of the mission has proven that Africa can resolve its own problems. These celebrations should serve as a reminder of our shared purpose and commitment to peace” said Lt. Okiding.

In his remarks, the Deputy Force Commander in Charge of Support and Logistics, Maj. Gen. Peter Kimani Muteti, reiterated Kenya’s commitment to supporting Somalia’s peacebuilding process and regional peace and stability.

“Our presence in Somalia reflects our steadfast dedication to the shared goals with the Federal Government of Somalia and her people. It demonstrates the value we place on regional peace and security,” said Maj. Gen. Muteti.

Gen. Muteti further asserted that Kenyans align themselves closely with their global partners embodying the principles of unity. “As Kenyans, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our international counterparts, epitomizing the ideals of collaboration and unity,” he added.

The ATMIS Police Commissioner, CP Hillary Sao Kanu, cited Kenya’s long-standing contribution to global peace, sharing the country’s role in pacifying Sierra Leone during the 11-year civil war.

“Together with Kenya and other friendly nations, we managed to disarm and reintegrate thousands of ex-combatants. This laid the necessary foundation for the achievement of peace and security in the country,” said CP Kanu.

“Consequently, on this Jamhuri Day, allow me to pay homage to the courage, commitment, and sacrifices of Kenyan peacekeepers that helped to bring peace to my country,” she added.

Kenya is one of the five Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to ATMIS with troops deployed in Sector Two and Sector Six Areas of Responsibility (AoRs). Additionally, Kenya contributes Individual Police Officers (IPOs) who support mentoring and building the capacity of the Somali Police Force (SPF)

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