The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Sunday joined Kenyan nationals serving under the peace support operation to celebrate Kenya’s 58th independence anniversary.
Kenya, an AMISOM troop and police-contributing country, attained its independence from the British on 12 December 1963.
A ceremony to mark the Independence Day anniversary, also known as Jamhuri Day, took place in Mogadishu, officiated by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira.
Also present were the AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya, AMISOM Police Commissioner, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Augustine Magnus Kailie, and Kenyan nationals serving in AMISOM.
Ambassador Madeira hailed Kenya for contributing to various peacebuilding processes across Africa, especially the ongoing peace support operation in Somalia.
“Kenya was the third country to deploy its forces into Somalia in 2011, after Uganda and Burundi. Kenya’s entry led to the liberation of major population centres in Lower Juba, the most significant being the port city of Kismayo. To date, this remains one of the biggest losses suffered by Al-Shabab, as Kismayo Port was the main source of funds and gateway to importing arms and ammunition,” said Ambassador Madeira.
He also commended Kenya for maintaining friendly historical ties with Somalia. He added that Kenya’s hosting of Somali refugees is a testament to the country’s commitment to the Somalia peace process.
Force Commander Lt. Gen. Ndegeya commended the AMISOM Kenya contingent for pacifying Jubaland State. He saluted the military and police contingents for supporting Somalia’s peacebuilding process.
“Kenya Defence Forces have over time been able to pacify many population centres in Jubaland and restored peace and stability in this region. Brothers and sisters from AMISOM Kenya contingent, both military and police, I salute your effort and contribution to peace and stability in Somalia,” said Lt. Gen. Ndegeya.
AMISOM Police Commissioner AIGP Kailie also noted Kenya’s contribution to African peace efforts, citing Kenya’s role in pacifying Sierra Leone during the 11-year civil war.
Speaking on behalf of Kenyans, the AMISOM Chief Military Information Officer, Col. Hans Nyange, noted that Kenya celebrated her independence in peace, unity and stability.
He paid tribute to military personnel who died in the struggle to attain independence and saluted the personnel who continued to defend the country’s sovereignty.
“As we celebrate this great day, allow me to remind my countrymen and women of the brave acts of our forefathers, who fought for our independence. Though they may have paid the ultimate price, it is clear their sacrifices were not in vain. I salute and hail our heroes who have died in the line of duty preserving our peace, sovereignty and way of life,” said Colonel Nyange.
Other guests included the commander of AMISOM Kenya Police contingent, Senior Superintendent of Police Alex Munyao Ndili, the AMISOM Head of Early Recovery and Stabilisation, Dr Opiyo Ododa, representatives from the United Nations, European Union and the UK Mission Support Team (UKMST).Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Mission in Somalia.
© Press Release 2021
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