President Uhuru Kenyatta has commended efforts by the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) to modernise its operations including training to effectively deal with emerging security challenges.
The country has in recent years been grappling with terrorism that has left hundreds dead.
A modern force with anti-terror capabilities is seen as antidote to Al Shabaab terrorists whose attacks have previously threatened to push Kenya over the cliff.
The President said the need to adjust, modernise and diversify KDF’s training so as to ensure Kenya remains safe from emerging security threats could not be over emphasized.
“Our soldiers must always have the skills to secure our country and our region,” he revealed.
The Head of State spoke this past weekend when he presided over the passing out parade of KDF recruits at the Recruits Training School (RTS) in Eldoret, where he congratulated the graduands for completing a rigorous seven-month military training course.
President Kenyatta cited terrorism, radicalisation and violent extremism as some of the security threats that KDF has to protect Kenya against.
“That is why our Kenya Defence Forces will continue its operations in AMISOM,” said Kenyatta.
He urged every Kenyan to work together with the country’s security formations to defeat terrorism, radicalisation and violent extremism.
Emphasizing the need for national unity, the President commended KDF for demonstrating unity in its structure as well as its members’ diversity and harmony.
“For its part, KDF is a standing rebuke to the forces of division. In its unity, in its patriotism and in its devotion to the sovereignty of the Republic, it shows the very best of Kenya as a nation,” the President said.
Kenyatta said in national and international security and peace operations as well as in community service, KDF has shown that inclusion and unity in service always wins.
The Head of State advised the new graduands to conduct themselves diligently, with discipline, integrity and professionalism as well as loyalty in line with the oath of allegiance they had taken.
As new service men and women of the Kenya Defence Forces, President Kenyatta urged them to cultivate the virtues that make a loyal and effective soldier for Kenya.
“These virtues are patriotism, knowledge and selflessness in service. You cannot truly protect what you do not love. I ask you today to cultivate deep love for this country,” President Kenyatta urged the young soldiers.
While congratulating the female soldiers in the graduating group, the President observed that the growing number of Kenyan women joining the defense forces was a sign of KDF’s inclusivity.
Present at the ceremony were Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe, Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Robert Kibochi, Commander Kenya Army Lt Gen W. R. Koipaton, Commander Kenya Airforce Maj Gen F. O. Ogolla, Commander Kenya Navy Maj Gen Levi Mghalu and RTS Commandant Brig Peter Njiru.
Others were Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett and Commissioner General of Prisons Isaiah Osugo among others.