(02-05-23) NAIROBI – On Tuesday, President William Ruto announced that the Kenyan government will begin withdrawing Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers from Somalia in 2024, in a move aimed at allowing the country to stabilize. The announcement was made during the launch of the State of Migration in East and Horn of Africa Report at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).
President Ruto stated that the number of KDF troops serving in Somalia would be reduced as part of a broader strategy. “We are working with our brothers and sisters in Somalia. Even as the drawdown of the troops is expected by next year, we have a concrete plan on how Somalia is going to move on as a state,” he said.
Kenya first deployed troops to Somalia on October 16, 2011, under former President Mwai Kibaki’s regime, to combat the insurgent group Al Shabaab. A month later, the Kenyan government agreed to work under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The KDF soldiers were formally integrated into AMISOM on February 22, 2012, after the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2036.
The President also revealed that various nations are working with Somalia to ensure a smooth transition before the complete withdrawal of troops. This collaborative approach aims to maintain peace and stability in the region.
In addition to discussing troop withdrawal from Somalia, Ruto addressed the ongoing conflict in Sudan, warning warring generals that the violence would destroy the country. He pledged support for Sudan’s efforts to regain political stability, saying, “As a region, as a continent and as a people, our message to the generals in Sudan is unequivocal. They have no business whatsoever destroying the hard-earned years of developing Sudan.”
To date, Kenya has successfully evacuated 409 of its citizens from the war-torn country. In an effort to maintain regional stability, Ruto also committed to supporting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in its quest for political stability, following the recent deployment of KDF soldiers to the DRC to help foster peace.
© Halqabsi News