In addition to the primary role of the defence of the Republic of Kenya and the secondary role of aid to civil authority, the Kenya Army has participated and continues to participate in international Peace Support Operations. Peace Support Operations within the Kenya Army can be traced back to 1973 when the United Nations requested the republic of Kenya to contribute forces for Peace Support Operations in the volatile Middle East after the 1973 the Israel/Arabs war. Even though Kenya acceded to the UN request the troops were not deployed due to various logistical constraints.
The first comprehensive participation of the Kenya Army in Peace Support operations was in 1979, when the Commonwealth requested the Republic of Kenya to contribute troops for a Peace Mission in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). The Country was then experiencing a liberation war waged by the indigenous population against the regime of Ian Smith which had unilaterally declared independence from the British.
Subsequently, the Kenya Army contributed Officers, towards Peace Support Operations in Chad in 1982 on the request of Organization of African Unity.
The Kenya Army also contributed Officers, Men and women towards peace support Operations in Namibia in 1989. Namibia was then a trust territory of the United Nations which was being administered by South African and was experiencing a liberation war waged by the indigenous inhabitants for independence. The mission was successfully conducted and even after the completion of the mission, the Kenyan troops stayed for another three months to train the nascent Namibian Army at the request of the host country.
The UN intervention in the former Yugoslavia to restore Peace also witnessed the participation of Officers, Men and women of Kenya Army in Peace Support operations in Balkan state. A total of 4 Battalions were deployed in the Balkan state between 1992 and 1995.
The Kenya Army also contributed Officers, Men and women to 6 Battalions that were deployed to the Sierra Leon between 1999 and 2003. This was pursuant to the UN intervention in the Country following civil war.
The deployment of UN Peacekeepers along the Ethiopia/Eritrea border following border skirmishes between the two countries also witnessed the participation of Officers, Men and women of the Kenya Army. Officers, Men and women of the Kenya Army continue to serve at the mission as peace keepers and deminers.
Officers, men and women of the Kenya Army have also served under the United Nations in East Timor, Burundi and Southern Sudan . The Burundi Mission and Southern Sudan continue to date.
Apart from peacekeeping operations, the Kenya Army has contributed officers, men and women for observer duties in troubled spots around the World. Among the countries which Kenya Army personnel Officer have participated are Angola, Former Yugoslavia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Iran/Iraq, Kuwait, Liberia, Morocco, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Chad, Rwanda, Uganda, Mozambique, Burundi, Sudan and Cote D' Ivoire.
In addition to Peace Support Operations and Military Observer duties Kenya Army personnel have been deployed by the UN as Headquarter Staff Officers.