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Kenya's parliament approves military to join AMISOM

(Xinhua)

14:39, December 08, 2011

NAIROBI, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Parliament on Wednesday endorsed the government's decision to allow the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) to join the AU Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) as part of the pan African body's strategy to combat Al- Shabaab.

The lawmakers unanimously endorsed the move which was request by the African Union aimed at expanding the mandate of the AMISOM to provide peacekeeping role in the entire Horn of Africa nation.

Defense Minister Yusuf Haji had told the lawmakers' parliament that following a recent extra ordinary session of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union, Kenya has been requested to have her soldiers integrated to AMISOM.

"This has been done at the request of the African Union to enhance a combined strategy for the operation against Al-Shabaab," Haji said.

Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim lauded the Kenya Defence Force and said the troops who crossed into southern Somalia mid October had been able to liberate several towns from the militia group.

Kenyan troops pushed across the border with Somalia into insurgent territory in the south in Oct. 16, following a string of attacks by Somali gunmen on Kenyan soil.

On Tuesday, the Cabinet that met under the chairmanship of President Mwai Kibaki approved the re-hatting of the Kenya Defense Forces in Somalia to AMISOM.

The East African nation which launched incursion in Somalia in mid October committed to the IGAD Heads of States Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November its willingness to join the 9000- strong AMISOM force.

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