Kenya Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo and Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathathe have made surprise visits to Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers serving in different parts of Somalia.
Omamo said the visit was to appreciate sacrifices the soldiers and their families had made to sustain a war against al Shabaab terrorists and secure Kenya.
In a moving message to the soldiers, Omamo said it was not an ordinary everyday choice for anyone to put their lives in danger to protect the lives of others.
Omamo and Gen Mwathethe were on a military camps surprise visit that saw them surprise the hardworking men and women of KDF who are on duty in Somalia.
The visit took the duo to Manda, Hulugho, and Kolbiyow military camps and thanked them for their dedication to duty which they affirmed is what’s keeping Kenya safe.
“I have come here to be with you and to share the spirit of this season with you, exceptional brave men and women. I want to let you know you are appreciated and that Kenyans are proud of you. We appreciate that you have stood firm and fought off threats to our motherland and stood firm, even in the face of great challenges. We thank you for the sacrifices you have made, even beyond the call of duty,” CS Omamo said.
During her visit, the Defence CS intimated that her visit was also to see and experience the soldiers’ everyday life in order to find out how she can better support the soldiers.
“I wanted to see your faces listen to you and your Commanders, to enable us to support you in the successful execution of your mandate here. Because of your diligence, you exemplify the heart of Kenya. You are symbols of all that is worthwhile in our country. You have successfully stood firm as the shield of Kenya, and for that I thank you” she said.
The Cabinet Secretary also honored heroes who had paid the ultimate price in the service to the Nation, saying that their sacrifice was not in vain further wishing the troops and their families back home a Merry Christmas and a happy 2019.
On his part, Gen Mwathethe conveyed Christmas greetings and thanked the soldiers for ensuring that Kenyans went about their daily lives in peace.
“Your being here will enable Kenyans to enjoy their Christmas and New Year festivities since they know that you are standing guard, ensuring the country is safe.” he said.
He also recognized the sacrifices made by KDF families.
“Let me thank your families at home for the great sacrifices they make, being apart from you, especially at this festive time,” the CDF said.
Mwathethe further indicated that the government was aware of the various challenges the soldiers faced in ensuring the country is safe promising that they were being addressed.
“Through modernization programs, the government has been constantly improving your capabilities in order to ensure that you surmount any challenge that may come your way and that your needs are met. I thank Service Commanders who have been at the forefront in making sure that you have what you need,” he said.
The CDF joined the CS in paying glowing tribute to those who had paid the ultimate price in defense of the Nation and also prayed for those recuperating to get well soon.