Sunday, October 12, 2008


President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday challenged military personnel to embrace a culture of continuous learning to keep pace with regional stability challenges posed by new technology.

He said all sectors of life were rapidly changing due to the continuous explosion in Information Communication Technology (ICT) knowledge."As you are aware, technological developments, particularly ICT have brought new security challenges. You are therefore expected to be conversant with these and other areas of concern in the military field through continuous training," President Kibaki said at the Armed Forces Officer Cadets Commissioning Parade at Lanet. The officer cadets have successfully completed a 20-month diploma course in military science.

Kibaki acknowledged the existing collaboration between public universities and the armed forces saying the partnership between the Ministry of Defence and Egerton University had enabled implementation of a continuous training programme for military personnel. "I urge officers to take advantage of these opportunities in order to acquire more skills. This not only serves to advance the academic standards of our military officers but also necessary for career progression," advised the Head of State.

On the proliferation of small arms, the Head of State urged Kenyans to cooperate with security agencies in mopping up illicit weapons to build a secure and prosperous society. The Head of State said the illegal firearms posed a serious security challenge, especially in Northern Kenya where banditry and cattle-rustling remained a concern despite efforts by the security agencies.

Kenya's Ministry of Defence is headed by Hon. Mohamed Yusuf Haji pictured above with the president and also comes from Northern Kenya.

Meanwhile, Kenya will train Somalis to become soldiers in efforts to improve security in the African region. Mr Wetangula said the government will announce when the training will begin after the IGAD meeting expected next month as two African Union military planes braved rebel threats to land in Mogadishu on Saturday carrying 400 Burundian reinforcements for an embattled peacekeeping force.

He said the training will take place in one of the police or army training institutions and between 6,000 to 10,000 Somalis will be recruited according to the Kenyan standards. The training period will be in accordance to that of Kenya’s military and police.

“The manner in which they will be recruited must represent the 5.4 formula under the charter, the intensity of training will be in consistent with how we train our own police or army, and if it is crush programme then the curriculum will be drawn by professionals who will be involved,” he said.

Kenya has trained Somali recruits before....

The two African Union military planes braved rebel threats to land in Mogadishu on Saturday carrying 400 Burundian reinforcements for an embattled peacekeeping force. The AU mission, AMISOM, is guarding sites in the chaotic Somali capital where a U.N.-backed interim government and its Ethiopian military allies are fighting Islamist insurgents.The multinational African force was supposed to be 8,000 strong but has been operating for months with 2,200 soldiers, all from Uganda and Burundi.

General Salim Ndikumana, acting deputy commander of the Burundian contingent, told Reuters 400 troops landed on Saturday and that about the same number again would be arriving soon.