(Xinhua) -- Britain has donated six new
remotely operated vehicles and associated equipment to
help train Kenyan soldiers counter explosive devices
during their peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
Visiting British Minister for Armed
Forces Mike Penning who handed over the equipment to the
joint UK/Kenya Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED)
wing of the Humanitarian Peace Support School said the
training will help save soldiers’ lives in Somalia and
contribute to the defeat of Al-Shabaab.
Speaking during the visit at the
school late Wednesday, Penning said the vehicles allow
improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to be destroyed or
disarmed remotely at a safe distance, preventing
specialized CIED operators from having to put their
lives at risk.
“The equipment and expertise we give
to this country is not one-off, we will keep on
coming back with instructors,” he said in Nairobi.
The Wing combines UK CIED support with
Kenyan facilities and manpower. The joint CIED Wing was
established in 2015 and provides vital CIED training for
Nic Hailey, British High Commissioner
to Kenya said the training and equipment being provided
at this counter IED centre will help them deal with one
of the biggest threats they face in that fight.
“It will bring together UK and Kenyan
expertise and manpower to provide training which
saves soldiers’ and civilians’ lives,” Hailey said,
noting that brave soldiers from Kenya and the region
are daily risking their lives in the fight against
Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
The centre is part of a big
international effort to build a more stable, secure and
prosperous Somalia and to support countries such as
Kenya which are giving so much to that effort.
The different CIED equipment to the
Wing included six Remotely Operated Vehicles to assist
with ‘IED Defeat’ training. In addition to equipment,
the Britain also provides CIED training through the
Over the past two years, 15 courses
have trained a cross-government audience drawn from the
KDF, the police, the airports authority, the National
Intelligence Service (NIS), and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)
as well as other regional military forces.
Penning who was in Kenya as part of a
regional tour in advance of the London Somalia
Conference in May, said Britain intends to increase the
number of courses delivered here by a further 50 percent
over the next two years.
Last month, the UK Foreign Secretary
chaired the UN Security Council on Somalia and next
month, Prime Minister Theresa May will host the London
Somalia Conference to inject new momentum into the
international effort to support Somalia on its path
towards stability and prosperity.