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President Uhuru Kenyatta Nation Address on Kenya Defence Forces Injured & Killed in Somali Attack

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President Kenyatta, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and other leaders visit KDF soldiers injured at Somali. President Kenyatta, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and other leaders visit KDF soldiers injured at Somali.

As Commander in Chief, I could not be more proud of the men and women in uniform standing here before me. Your serviced sacrifice to this grateful nation, your hard work preparing to defend it, and your bravery and dedication in battle are a credit to your families.

Our cause is to protect the people and Constitution of this country, our territorial integrity, to ensure that no enemy within or without is allowed the opportunity to attack us and to take our liberty.

That is the cause your fellow soldiers are pursuing in Somalia, it is why we had a Forward Operating Base in El Adde.

You know that terrorists struck that base. Our soldiers were killed, others were injured and had to fight to survive. I commend the courage you showed. I commend the fellowship and common loyalty that you men and women of the Kenya Defence Forces including the gallant soldiers lost at El Adde continue to display.

The entire country stands with you, and we will ensure that you have the best care available so that you can recover and return to duty.

All Kenyans, regardless of faith, are joined in prayer for the souls of our fallen heroes, and in thanks to God for blessing us with men and women of character and patriotism.

I want to also thank your families and communities. Kenya Defence Forces are drawn from every corner of Kenya, from every community.

It is a matter of pride for families to have one of their own join the Military, go through tough training and become an upstanding soldier.

Your families are patriotic; they love this country as much as you do. They are worried about your wellbeing and they are grieving for their fallen sons.

I join my prayers to theirs, and want them to know that your mission has saved many Kenyan lives. They can take pride in you, and hold their heads high as part of you.

Our duty does not end, and our mission continues. Right now, your fellow soldiers in the Army and the Air Force are in Somalia conducting search, rescue and recovery operations. They have recaptured the El Adde base and are pursuing the enemy deep in their hideouts.

We are at war; the nature of the threat not only locally, regionally but globally is growing. It threatens democracy, development, and the humanity’s hopes for peace.

Our defence forces are part of a continental response in AMISOM. Their mission has liberated Somalia from the complete grip of terrorists; it has allowed the Somali people a chance to build a stable country which is critical to Kenya’s security now, and in the future.

I urge the government and people of Somalia to seize the opportunity to build a peace and prosperous country. You have suffered greatly in the last quarter of a century. We have walked with you, and have shed blood fighting by your side.

It is your moment to demonstrate that you are ready to build stable and credible government in control of your entire territory.

To the International Community whose members are represented here today. We give thanks for your solidarity. The AMISOM mission advances global peace and security. Though we as Kenya fight foremost to secure the security of our people, we are also fighting to make the world safer.   Our success in Somalia makes your streets safer; it makes the world more secure.

It is critical that you not lose sight of the terrorist challenge in Somalia and in this region, even as your attention is drawn with similar and pressing problems elsewhere. We must regard fighting different terrorist organisations as one war with different fronts.

Once we internalise this, and act on it, I am sure you will seek to find all means to show even greater support for AMISOM and KDF as we continue our collective mission.

Fellow Kenyans,

Al Shabaab and its fellow terrorist organisations know no humanity: they disguise their vile aims to oppress and destroy behind a veil of religion. They represent an ambition to remake the world into a tyranny of caliphates in which all the precious freedoms we have fought so hard to win would be destroyed. They boast of caring only for death, and in doing so kill not only soldiers in places like El Adde but children in schools and women on the streets.

They will never stop attacking until their ability to do so is militarily destroyed, and their ideology discredited in its entirety. The Friday attack has only renewed our determination to destroy Al Shabaab and all terrorist groups that threaten Kenya.

Every Kenyan must understand that this is a war that requires that we be united as a nation, that we stand shoulder to shoulder to face the enemy of humanity. That we should not be deterred no matter the challenges they try to push our way.

Our Defence Forces are ready. Their bravery is undimmed, their skill and prowess is a credit to our nation. Let us rally around them. In our prayers let us thank God for them and ask for His protection and guidance.

For our political leaders, both at national and local level let us appreciate that the war against terrorism is real and as such should be treated as non-political.

Our national security knows no politics, only the unity and resolve of a mighty people. Here at home, let us watch more carefully for signs of radicalisation or suspicious activities by the terrorists. You can play your role by coming together in being part of Nyumba Kumi so that you and your neighbours can make your families and our nation safer.

You can refuse to be a conduit for the terrorists’ images and messages on social media. You can challenge their ideology wherever you may hear it by proclaiming loudly and proudly that Kenya is a country whose different religions and communities live together in fellowship, and the common aim of building a prosperous and peaceful tomorrow for our children. 

In El Adde, we lost precious lives. These were young Kenyans in the prime of their lives, serving their country in a foreign land.

They gave their lives to protect us, and to allow our brothers and sisters in Somalia the precious gift of government, stability and peace that we enjoy. We owe our young soldiers a debt of gratitude, one we can scarcely repay. But honour them we will.

We are at war with extremists, we are at war with terrorists, we are at war with fanatics, and this is a war that we must win.

Despite the adversity, we remain unbowed and resolved to build a strong, prosperous and secure nation.

Thank you and God bless you.

DUT
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