The Kenya Defence Forces, on 6th of July 2012, held a symbolic colourful Rehatting ceremony at the Department of Defence Headquarters in Nairobi. The event marked the formal integration of KDF into the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by the United Nation Resolution 2036. KDF were officially admitted into AMISOM on 22nd February 2012. The Kenyan soldiers now join those from Burundi, Djibouti and Uganda to expand the AMISOM force.
In attendance during the ceremony were: Special Representative of the Secretary General to the United Nations Ambassador Mahiga, Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya Gen. J Karangi, AMISOM Force Commander Lt Gen. Guti, Special Representative of the chairman of the African Union Commission for Somalia Ambassador Boubakar Diarra and other senior military officials from Africa.
The Chief of Kenya Defence Forces Gen. J Karangi, speaking during the ceremony, said that the event marked KDF's formal rehatting to AMISOM having transitioned from Operation Linda Nchi following the declaration of the UN Security Council resolution 2036 on the 22nd February 2012. Gen. Karangi said that since the onset of Operation Linda Nchi, KDF had liberated close to 100,000 square kilometers inside Somalia. He further said that KDF has continued to provide limited humanitarian assistance in terms of medical assistance and feeding old and weak Somali people. This has shown that KDF is not an occupational force and its intention was to liberate innocent Somali people. Following these successes by KDF, the African Union acknowledged Kenya’s immense contribution in Somalia and saw the need of KDF to be part of an expanded AMISOM. He again urged the Kenya people not to forget the gallant officers, men and women who have lost their lives in defending this country.
The Minister of State for Defence Hon. Yusuf Haji said that in this event, Kenya marks an important milestone in its contribution to regional peace and security concerns with the regional and international obligations. He reiterated that Kenya’s engagement in Somali is motivated by its desire to create a stable and conducive peaceful environment for enhancement of development. He also praised Kenya for contributing immensely to the reduction of piracy in the Indian Ocean and thanked AMISOM member countries for their efforts and sacrifice in bringing an everlasting peace in Somalia. Special representative of the chairman of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Boubakar Diarra thanked Kenyans and the Government for responding to the union’s invitation to join AMISOM.