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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 Another 200 KDF troops are scheduled to withdrawn from Somalia by December.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

BREAKING: Legendary jazz musician Oliver Mtukudzi has died

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Veteran jazz musician Oliver Mtukudzi has died, TshisaLIVE can confirm.

Mtukudzi’s record label Gallo Records confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon but said there were no details available.

The musician’s family is set to release a statement later this afternoon.

An outpouring of tributes has already flooded social media.

During an interview with TshisaLIVE a year ago, Mtukudzi spoke about his excitement of releasing his 67th album.

He said the most significant thing about his upcoming album, Hanya’Ga (Concern) was the message.

“My 67th album is meant to share a message of introspecting and I’m hoping people learn a thing or two from it. It’s an album I wrote last year after I realised that the world keeps getting tangled up in ‘unnecessary’ problems.

“All because we are focused on competing and being better than the next person. In so doing we keep stepping on each other’s toes but that is not how God created us. God meant for us to compliment each other, that’s why he didn’t duplicate talent,” he said at the time.

Source: www.timeslive.co.za

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FBI agents arrest three Kenyans in US over links to Isis

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Three Kenyans were on Tuesday arrested in the United States for their links to terror group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

The three were nabbed by Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agents. They were identified as Mohamed Salat Haji, Mohamud Abdikadir Muse and Muse Abdikadir Muse.

The three were arrested in Lansing, Michigan. They are said to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic state.

Mr Muse Abdikadir Muse was nabbed while on transit to Somalia.

“He was checking in for a flight on his way to Mogadishu, Somalia when he was arrested,” a statement by the FBI released on Tuesday stated.

Mr Muse Abdikadir Muse had earlier this month purchased air tickets to travel from the Gerald R. Ford Airport in Michigan.

CO-CONSPIRATORS

The US Department of Justice said his other two friends, described as co-conspirators, had assisted him in getting the ticket.

“They aided in the purchase of the ticket and drove Muse Abdikadir Muse to the Grand Rapids airport, each knowing the true purpose of the travel was for Muse Muse to join and fight for ISIS,” read the statement.

According to the FBI, the three recorded videos pledging allegiance to the group where they narrated their desire “to kill non-believers, and even to potentially use a car for a martyrdom operation to run down non-believers in the USA.”

Despite their arrest, the American Government is yet to find them guilty of the charges.

Their arrest comes exactly a week after terrorists led by a Kenyan identified as Salim Gichunge attacked dusitD2 hotel and killed 21 people.\

NairobiNews

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‘Please help me return home,’ Kenyan legend runner living in the US pleads

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Kenyan distance running legend Henry Rono a broken man. He has been living in the United States of America for the last 32 years, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Rono who is now 66, on Tuesday reached out to Nation Sport and sent a passionate appeal:

“I wants a ticket back home, please.”

“Yes, I would like the government to help me get back home by getting me a ticket… I can’t afford living in the USA. I’m getting old… Also, being away from home for over 32 years is too long,” added the legend.

The legend is currently a security guard at the Albuquerque airport.

“Yes, I did retire, but these other jobs are stressful and I’m too old,” he said. “Like now, I’m sick from working hard. Many of my fellow Kenyans are dying from stressful hard working jobs,” said Rono, who was given a lifetime achievement award by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2008.

“I have been given another award in Belgrade but I’m able to attend because of stressful work. Like now, I’m in the bed and I’m unwell.”

But Rono’s daughter Maureen confirmed she had spoken to the legend, and that he has been unwell since last week. “He has been coughing for the last week, and I’ve been in touch with him. If he asked you to send out an appeal for help, you can go ahead and publish,” she said.

Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei, meanwhile, said his association would be ready to help the legend.

“He did a lot for this country and we can’t fail to get help for him,” said Tuwei. “We need information such as costs of tickets, who he could be travelling with and other details, and then see how we can support.”

The Washington State University star alumnus had taken up coaching after his running career, this after alcoholism dented the highlight years of his spell that saw him shatter world records in the 3,000 metres (seven minutes, 32.1 seconds), 5,000 metres (13:08.4), 3,000 metres steeplechase (8:05.04) and 10,000 metres (27:22.47), all within 81 days across USA (California and Seattle) and Europe (Vienna and Oslo).

Source: nation.co.ke

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