Full Text: President Kenyatta’s Statement on the Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia

January 20, 2016

Fellow Kenyans,
Every Kenyan stands with the families of the Kenya Defence Forces soldiers who laid down their lives and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the face of terror at El Adde in Somalia.  These enemies of humanity struck at brave patriots, who are in Somalia to protect our families, our nation, and the world.
Our fallen Heroes are returning home. The injured are in the care of our medical staff. As their Commander-in-Chief, and as a parent, my heart goes out to them, and to their grieving families. Let us come together in prayer for all of them.
We are unbowed.  As I speak to you today, our Defence Forces are conducting intense search, rescue and recovery operations, to make sure we bring home our fallen and our injured heroes.  That has been and remains our key priority.
That said, we are determined and committed to pursuing those criminals who perpetrated this act and ensure that they shall pay heavily for their crime.
Our soldiers did not die in vain. We have over the years relieved millions of citizens of the Federal Republic of Somalia from the pitiless oppression of terror. Our efforts, together with those of other AMISOM peacekeepers, who also lost their lives, have enabled normal government operations to return in Somalia. We have all together contributed vitally to global peace and security.
Al Shabaab aims to destroy the precious freedoms we have fought so hard to win. We will not know peace so long as this threat of terror exists in our region.
We, therefore, today, once again, reaffirm our resolve to stand with the international community to free Somalia from the oppression of terrorist groups.
We are well aware peace and security have their price.  Our job is to minimize the risk to our people. I’m proud to say that our forces are ready to do their duty.  Their bravery is undimmed and for this, we, as a nation, are grateful to all of them.
Every Kenyan must understand that this war demands our unity as a nation.  We must stand shoulder to shoulder, and face together the enemy of humanity.
Let us rally behind our gallant soldiers.  Let us thank God for them and ask for His protection and guidance over them.  To all Kenyans, let us insist that our national security knows no politics, religion or ethnic boundaries: Only the unity and resolve of a peace loving people.
I repeat, again, we remain unbowed, determined to protect our way of life and committed to pursue our goal of a united, integrated and prosperous nation, region and continent. Neither shall we be shaken nor deterred by the actions of these criminals. Kenya will move forward.
To those misguided elements, who think their cowardly actions have shaken us, let me tell them today that their actions have only made us stronger and emboldened us in our determination to defeat them.
As Commander-in-Chief l know that the military has its own regimental traditions in honouring and remembering their heroes.
The Ministry of Defence and the Kenya Defence Forces will proceed with the burial plans in line with military traditions. We as a nation join them in celebrating and honouring these fallen heroes.
I close by asking each and everyone of you to pray for our heroes and their families, and for all our forces in Somalia, as well as those within our borders, who spend sleepless nights in ensuring that we are all safe and we pray that they may prevail against the enemy.  I stand with the Kenya Defence Forces.  I ask you, fellow Kenyans, to do the same.
God bless you, God bless Kenya and God bless our fallen heroes.

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