Thursday, November 19, 2009


The government has admitted that it is helping to train Somalis in a bid to help the Somali Federal government but denies that any Kenyans are among those being trained. Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang says 2,000 Somalis have been trained by the Kenyan government. Kajwang was speaking when he appeared before a joint Parliamentary committee on Administration and National Security and Defense and Foreign Affairs. 

Meanwhile, A group of youths on Sunday cried foul after being ejected from a camp where the Kenyan Government is training military staff for the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. The youths claimed they were bundled out after it was discovered that they were Kenyans, and not from Somalia. Kenya is one of the countries that have agreed to help Somalia train its police officers and soldiers. The European Union at the weekend announced plans to train 2,000 troops in Uganda. Djibouti is also helping train Somalia's armed forces.

Speaking to the Nation, the youths said they were promised jobs that pay $600 (Sh44,000) a month. Some of them had left other jobs, they added. Asked whether they were prepared to die for a foreign government currently fighting the Al Shaabab, they said they do not mind the danger so long as the money is good.

"I doubt if you can resist an offer to make dollars. Death can come in many ways. If it comes through a bullet that would have been fine with me," said Mr Osman Adan Sigale, 26. Mr Sigale said he used to sell mobile phone airtime at Garissa before he came to the camp. He said he was in a group of 45 who were ejected from the training camp on Saturday and taken to Voi, where they also met some MPs.

Mr Adan Mohammed, another youth, said he left his job as a security guard in Garissa Town when the opportunity of making more money in Somalia arose. He accused Parliament of cancelling their ticket out of poverty -- the opportunity to fight in Somalia and earn the dollars.

On Saturday, members of the Kenya House Defence Committee, chaired By MP Adan Keynan visited the Manyani training camp at the Coast, where it has been reported that the youth are receiving training before being dispatched to Somalia.

"There appears to have been a major security breach that has occurred on Kenyan soil," said committee chairman Adan Keynan.

According to Internal Security permanent secretary Francis Kimemia, the youths should have been arrested and charged with impersonation. He said they had taken advantage of Somalia's failed structures to pass themselves off as its citizens and get into the training camps. "We cannot train Kenyan youth to go and fight in Somalia," he said.