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Vice Chief of the Defence Forces Lt Gen Mwathethe delivers his speech during the Commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers at Gigiri.

Chief Guest, Director United Nations Information Centre,Distinguished Guests, officers, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It gives me great pleasure to deliver a message of peace during this important ocassion as the world marks the UN Peacekeepers Day.

Our Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Kenya Defence Forces have participated in peace keeping missions in support of the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU) and the Inter Governmental Authority for Development(IGAD) in their efforts to secure peace in conflict regions worldwide. Our experience in the field of peacekeeping spans over three decades beginning with our first deployment to Chad under the auspices of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1979.  In the last three decades, Kenya has committed over 29,664 officers and men to peacekeeping missions with much success.  This has given our Defence Forces and our country Kenya, a wonderful reputation internationally as a net exporter of peace.

Kenya Defence Forces are currently deployed in five missions this being the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Lebanon, Somalia and Syria.

The Kenya Defence Forces appreciates the honour the United Nations has bestowed upon them by seeking their particiaption in peacekeeping missions worldwide.  I wish to assure you that the Defence Forces shall continue to support the international community as and when called upon under the overall superintendence of the Commander-in-Chief.  In this regard, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the UN for recognizing the peacemaking efforts and peace building of the Kenya Defence Forces on this great occasion as the world marks the UN Peacekeepers Day.

Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen: It is worth mentioning that to be a peacekeeper there is a sacrifice the soldier has to make on behalf of the international community, his country and the military, sadly to say, over the three decades, we have a total of 32 military personnel who paid for peace with their lives while on missions either due to hostile action, accidents or illnesses.

In the environment of modern peacekeeping, there is nothing more motivating and uplifting than upholding the rule of law which requires strengthening confidence and that is why our International Peace Support Training Centre(IPSTC) trains our troops never to abuse their power and work for human conditions wherever they are deployed.   In this regard, our Forces have beeb prepared to observe the conventions that uphold international laws and human rights.

Lastly, may I on behalf of the members of the Kenya Defence Forces thank, most sincerely, all the individuals from various organizations for the successful conduct of this ceremony to remember the UN Peacekeepers wherever they are for restoring reconciliation and nurturing hope for a better world to come.

The Chief Guest, thank you for gracing the occasion and let us hope that the memories of this day will uphold the rule of law in our commitment to have a just world.  Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen and may God bless you.

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