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Kenyan troops could stay longer in Somalia

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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The mandate of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in Somalia, which expires on October 31st, will likely be extended pending an assessment of security conditions, head of the KDF General Julius Karangi said Tuesday (October 9th).

"There is a possibility, and I have no doubt in my mind, there will be an extension depending on the security situation," he said, according to Kenya's Daily Nation. "KDF is not an occupation force, but is there to liberate Somalia from al-Shabaab."

His statement echoes statements earlier this year in which the KDF vowed to stay until the end of the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Karangi said the KDF has freed more than 200,000 square kilometres of territory from al-Shabaab since its deployment in October 2011, and has begun to distribute water and medicines to Somalis in liberated areas.

The KDF has 4,660 troops deployed in Somalia at present. A further 13,000 troops from Burundi, Djibouti and Uganda make up the AMISOM force.

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