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KDF troops begin a scheduled departure from war-torn Somalia

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KDF troops begin a scheduled departure from war-torn Somalia

By ALLAN TAWAI

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops are scheduled to withdraw from Somalia in two years time.

According to timelines drawn by the United Nations Security Council, the planned withdrawal comes seven years after KDF troops entered Somalia on October 14, 2011 in pursuit of Al Shabaab terrorists who were entering Kenya at will to abduct and kill aid workers and tourists in North Eastern and Coast provinces.

If the program works as planned, by December 2020 all sixteen Forward Operating Base (FOB) occupied by KDF troops working under Amisom will be taken over by Somalia National Army (SNA) and Jubaland Security Force who are currently being mentored to take over security responsibility of their country. The FOBs include Amisom Sector II headquarters Dhobley, Afmadhow, Tabda, Fafadun, Hoosingow, Kismayo New Airport, Kismayo Old Airport, Kolbio, Buale, Badhaadhe, Beles Qoqaani and Burgavo among others.

Last year, Kenya withdrew 200 troops from Amisom as part of its share in the 1,000-man strong force in the drawdown authorized by the UN Security Council. Another 200 KDF troops are scheduled to withdrawn from Somalia by December. It is expected that the withdrawal will be escalated ahead of the 2020 deadline leaving all security responsibilities to Somalia security agencies.

The five Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) namely Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia are bound by the UN Security Council drawdown resolution. Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Zambia are contributing police officers to Amisom. However, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission ambassador Francisco Caetano says the number will be compensated by 500 Amisom police who are coming in to assist in training of Somali police officers.

According to the UN Security Council Resolution 2372 (2017) which extended Amisom’s mandate until May 31, there is an expected reduction of the troops from 21,626 to 20,626 by October 30. The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2372 (2017) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter in which there would be a reduction of uniformed personnel but an increase of police in Somalia.

However, locals and TCC are apprehensive of the ability of SNA to hold on to territory liberated by African Union troops when they withdraw in 2020. Lack of a unified command structure for the SNA and other security forces operating in Somalia is the greatest challenge to achieving a realistic transition to and handing over of security responsibility.

 

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Africa

VIDEO: New Chinese ambassador to Kenya presents her credentials to Uhuru

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday at State House, Nairobi, received credentials from China’s first female ambassador to Nairobi Ms Sun Baohong.

Ms Sun was among three new ambassadors who have recently been posted  to Kenya. The diplomats also included Sri Lanka’s Commissioner-designate Weerawardena Sunil Dharmasena De Silva and New Zealand’s non-resident ambassador-designate Mark Ramsden, who will reside in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Kenyatta told Ms Baohong that Kenya had enjoyed a strong mutual understanding with her predecessor, Dr. Liu Xianfa, and hoped that the partnership between the two countries will continue during her term in Nairobi.

On her part, the new ambassador pledged to use her new position to enhance Sino-Kenyan Relations to further promote the existing strategic partnership and deepen ties between Nairobi and Beijing.

Ms Baohong, the 15th Chinese Ambassador to Nairobi is also her country’s permanent representative to two global institutions-United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat).

China and Kenya have for many years enjoyed mutual collaboration in various areas including infrastructure development and manufacturing.

Kenya is keen to tap into Chinese investments in the manufacturing sector by harnessing Beijing’s technical prowess, capital and experience to promote industrial growth as outlined in the Vision 2030 blue-print.

This co-operation is aimed at creating jobs locally and boost Kenya’s export potential.

President Kenyatta told the New Zealand ambassador that Kenya wishes to prosper the relationship with the Australasia nation.

He singled out Geo-Thermal energy sector and sport especially Rugby as two areas where the two nations could co-operate for mutual benefit.

The Head of State called for stronger people-to-people ties with Sri-Lanka.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Monica Juma was also present at the function.

Below is a video of

PSCU Contributed to this report.

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Africa

VIDEO: Why you should never buy potatoes in a rush

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Are you always in a hurry when you buy stuff by the roadside? Think twice.

Investigations have revealed that many vendors trick their customers into thinking that they are buying overflowing buckets of potatoes – and indeed other commodities – only for the unsuspecting buyers to end up with half of their money’s worth.

Yes, it is true! Unscrupulous traders are on the prowl are literally stealing your potatoes. This is what the cameras found out. Watch:

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Africa

VIDEO: Angry pastor warns members against ‘seducing’ other attendees with their ‘near-naked’ dresses

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

A pastor whose name we are yet to establish is warning his congregation against going to church while scantly dressed saying by so doing, they are seducing other members. “This is unacceptable,” he says, adding that even the guests at the royal wedding were all  “fully dressed.”

I saw all the stars who used to go naked were well covered, he adds.

“Today we have almost naked people singing on the pulpit, seducing the members of the church.”

The pastor is cheered wildly when he declares that neither fame nor money can save humanity.

“Whether you are a Hollywood star or whoever you are, nothing can save you except Jesus Christ.”

Watch:

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