Panelists at the New Year Greetings Round Table Discussion
The Ministry of Defence held a round table discussion on Defence Cooperation during the Annual New Year’s Greetings on 22nd February, 2017 at the Defence Headquarters to exchange ideas touching on global peace. Issues discussed aimed at enriching the defence policies and processes that deepen the understanding of environmental threats that are increasingly dividing the world.
The forum discussed the importance for countries to work together with a strong indication of willingness to reach across borders to bring together people from different cultures, backgrounds and professions for similar discussions and interactions.
Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Raychelle Omamo expressed her gratitude to the KDF family for gallantly doing their duties against all the odds. She recognized the efforts by the Civilian component of the Ministry for working tirelessly in supporting their troops to deliver defence for the nation.
“I would also like to thank our partners for the consistent support and coordination they have accorded us to boost our resourcefulness. The principle objective for this occasion is to provide a forum to thank our partners for the assistance they have accorded us throughout the year and providing a platform for direct engagement on matters of mutual interest.” Amb Raychelle Omamo said.
The Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe welcomed the distinguished guests indicating that the Kenyan forces have benefited from the assistance in the areas of training and logistics as well as generous donations of equipment’s and systems by the partners.
“This initiatives have enhanced our defence capabilities, sharpened and strengthened our operations, improved our strategic and planning abilities and most importantly boosted the professionalism and quality of our soldiers.” the CDF said.
General Mwathethe said that Kenya is grateful for the donations of the six (6) helicopters by the US government and transport and maintenance equipment’s by the Chinese government adding that more support has been provided for the International Peace Support and Training Center by a number of countries.
He said that KDF will continue to assist in the maintenance of global peace security and therefore continues its operations in Somalia under AMISOM as well as other peacekeeping operations.
The CDF added that every country is faced by security challenges in one form or another; ranging from border tensions and violent challenges and no nation can claim to be free from threat or to have the defence capability to tackle the threat alone. It is for this reason that corporation is important, and this meeting provides that opportunity to put together and devise a united approach to tackling the security threats.
Defence Principal Secretary, Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia who invitedAmb. (Dr.) Monica Juma, Principal Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bill Popp, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy, H.E Mr. Liu Xianfa Ambassador of Embassy of China and H.E Mr Nic Hailey High Commissioner of British High Commissionerto the round table on Defence Corporation.
H.E Mr Nic Hailey High Commissioner of British High Commissioner opened the session saying that the international order is in a condition of profound challenges but one cannot under estimate the tools that are at the disposal of partnering nations and the willingness to collaborate and address the current problem.
“The United Kingdom for example is the only big country to meet both the defence expenditure target and the United Nation’s target through aid, and it is through this kind of approach that underlines security, but we must all work together.” Mr Hailey said.
He said that Somalia is a country that is cared about by many and Kenya has bravely sacrificed for it in many years. “Africa has really stepped up to try and solve its problems with the support of the international community behind it. The UK and the international community will continue to support Africa on the UN Security Council. The UK is dialing up significantly our security presence here to respond to the threat that is being discussed. We have deployed troops to Somalia and we are in the process of deploying troops to South Sudan to work along the UN Peacekeeping Missions. We have resumed our joint training with KDF in order to learn from each other as we meet this challenges and we are determined to maintain that commitment and partnership.” He added.
H.E Mr. Liu Xianfa Ambassador of Embassy of China said everyone is in the era of development, transformation and change, and the trend of time towards peace development operations is currently facing challenges which have to be addressed in similar approach.
Mr. Bill Popp, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy said that the solutions to the past challenges are not always going to be necessarily the way to solve problems but we can look at partnerships which are key,given that no county is immune to the challenges faced. He added that our security is interlinked and there are great opportunities and necessity work together. The US has been in partnership with Kenya through capacity building and equipment sharing, among other areas.
“Through talking to each other, either in dialogues or engagements, we can achieve a lasting solutions, and we are looking forward to continuing with the partnership and share experiences at different levels.” Said Mr Popp.
He said, Africa’s role in the international scene is critical as many of the issues confronting the world are happening here in the continent such as extremism and climate change hence a need to continue with greater involvement and participation to find ways to respond and develop long term solutions.
Amb. (Dr) Monica Juma, Principal Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that a terror attack in the past was a rear occurrence but today it is happening everywhere. “Twenty (20) years ago, we were celebrating globalization, today we are seeing a trend of negating globalization and arguments about globalization leaving people’s minds with increasing risks in security and ICT. This forum should reflect on how to maximize the opportunity and minimize the risks,” She noted.
The Vice Chief of the Defence Forces (VCDF) Lieutenant General Joseph Kasaon who urged that all participants to broaden and deepen the relationship.“The high number who heed to our invitation is an indication or a cordial working relation between the Ministry and yourselves and the countries and organizations that you represent.” The VCDF noted.
The discussion also saw contributions from Professor Judi Wakhungu, CS of Environment, Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi, CS of Land, Joe Mucheru, CS ICT and National Assembly Defence and Foreign Relations Committee chairman Ndung’u Gethenji.
Present at the event were Ambassadors/High Commissioners, Cabinet Secretaries, Permanent Secretaries, Government officials, Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers, Defence attachés, Senior Officers and Officers, Service Members and the Civilian Staff from the Kenya Defence Forces.
Defence Officials and Distinguished guests observe a moment of silence in honour of Men and Women of KDF who paid ultimate price in line of duty
Defence Cabinet Secretary addressing participants during the New Year Greetings at Defence Headquarters Officers Mess.
Chief of the Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe addressing participants during the New Year Greetings.
Participants following the proceedings during the New Year Greetings at Defence Headquarters.
(R-L) Principal Secretary Defence Amb Kirimi Kaberia, Defence CS Amb. Raychelle Omamo, CS Agriculture Jacob Kaimenyi, CS ICT Joe Mucheru and PS Foreign Affairs Amb. Monica Juma stand as the National Anthem was being played.
Participants follow the proceedings at DHQ Officers Mess during the New Year Greetings.
Defence Committee chairman Hon. Ndung’u Gethenji addressing participants.
CS Environmental and Natural Resources Judy Wakhungu gives her speech during the New Year Greetings at DHQ Officers Mess.
(L-R) Principal Secretary of Defence Amb Kirimi Kaberia, Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Raychelle Omamo, Navy Commander Major General Levi Mghalu, Airforce Commander Major General Samuel Thuita, Army Commander Lieutenant General Robert Kibochi during the New years greating at DHQ.
Vice Chief of the Defence Forces Lieutenant General Joseph Kasaon gives a vote of thanks