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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan president visits Somali frontline to boost troops’ morale

by Chrispinus Omar NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has visited a Somali war frontline to boost the morale of Kenyan troops serving in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) battling militant group Al-Shabaab, a presidential spokesperson said Sunday.

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said the president visited the Dhobley Military Camp, which serves as a log center and a base of the UN operations in southern Somalia.

"The president wanted to appear in person to show his support for the very important work our men and women in uniform do to secure our country," Esipisu told reporters during a State House briefing.

Kenyatta’s visit to Somalia came amid reports of a diplomatic misunderstanding over the trip to the military camp on Saturday.

The Kenyan government said the visit was an appreciation from the Presidency for the work the Kenyan troops have been doing to curb a series of terror attacks inside the East African Nation since their deployment there in 2011.

"The president told the soldiers of his pride in them," Esipisu told reporters.

"He assured them of his support to accomplish the goals for which they were deployed.

"Our soldiers are part of the president’s campaign to secure the region.

"Securing Somalia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo or Burundi means a secure Kenya," said the spokesperson.

President Kenyatta said regional stability had been a key portion of his recent engagements with global leaders, including the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the U.S. President Donald Trump, who recently held a telephone conversation with Kenyatta on regional security.

Kenyatta’s visit to the Somali frontline region also came days before the scheduled Kenya visit by the new Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed to strengthen bilateral ties.

             

 

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