As the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) marked the seventh anniversary of the KDF Day since the launch of Operation Linda Nchi at the Kenyatta Barracks, yesterday the commemoration of fallen heroes and heroines bore the hallmarks of patriotism and resilience in an enemy territory.
KDF Day has been observed since October 2012 following the launch of Operation Linda Nchi in 2011.
“This will be the 7th Anniversary of KDF Day with the theme: “Enhancing KDF Capability to Create an Enabling Environment for the National Development Agenda.” Department of Defence said.
In the regional front, Kenya has achieved a high standing internationally as part of the regional force in stabilising Somalia and as a key troops contributing country to the Africa Peace keeping Mission in Somalia (Amisom).
Amisom, an umbrella under which the KDF troops operate in Somalia have degraded Al Shabaab terror network capacity and the threat pose to Kenya and the region.
Some of the key KDF’s mandates is to defend and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Kenya; assist and cooperate with other authorities in situations of emergency and disaster; and upon approval of the National Assembly, the military may be deployed to restore peace in any part of Kenya affected by unrest or instability.
To counter the spillover effect, the government has already established a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Strategy to strengthen and prevent radicalisation is billed as one of the policing and research measure informing intelligence led policing in the fight against terrorism.
Last year, Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychell Omamo and Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe led the KDF in marking the sixth Kenya Defence Forces Day at the Isiolo Barracks.
Among the breakthroughs Amisom has achieved is to disintegrate Al Shabaab’s command structure and subsequent ground and aerial raids.
In February 2016, a wanted Al Shabaab top commander, Mahad Mohammed Karatey, alias Mahat Karate was killed alongside ten middle level commanders and 42 recruits during airstrikes attack by the KDF.
Mahat was killed while attending a graduation ceremony of 80 militants inside Somalia. He is believed to be the mastermind of the KDF camp attack at El Adde.
The same year, Mohamed Mohamud, alias Dulyadin alias Gamadhere alias Sheikh Mahamad linked to the Garissa University attack that left 148 was killed by a US drone attack in Jubaland area.
Gamadhere was one of the most sought after top terrorists in KDF watch list following the killing of Ahmed Abde Godane in September 2015.
Godane was a top leader of the Al-Shabaab militant group believed to have been behind Westgate shopping mall massacre that left over 67 people dead.
Intelligence reports show Gamadhere used to be in Somalia and was a former teacher at a Madrassa in Northern Kenya.