Kenya, US enter defence co-operation agreement

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East African country Kenya and the United States (US) at the weekend committed to a wide-ranging five-year defence co-operation agreement.

The agreement will see formal co-operation between the East African country’s defence sector and the giant US military machine in technology and innovation, counter-terrorism and counter-violent extremism, joint training and maritime security. A Kenya Ministry of Defence (MoD) statement has it the agreement “shall enable the two militaries to respond effectively to ever-evolving security challenges”.

Kenya Cabinet Secretary for Defence, Aden Duale, committed his country to the agreement, signed for the US by Secretary for Defence, Lloyd Austin.

Officially the joint defence co-operation framework, it will enhance Kenyan defence capabilities and contribute to economic growth through joint ventures and technology sharing, Duale said.

Calling Kenya “a strategic partner”, Austin thanked its government for “hosting US Forces at Manda Bay and the commitment to shared security”. His country “valued” Kenya’s commitment to fighting Al-Shabaab and by offering leadership and support in tackling security challenges in the region and around the world.

He referred specifically to Haiti, where Duale said, Kenya was ready to bring peace once “the anticipated peacekeeping mission meets all legal requirements”. The Kenyan decision to assist in Haiti will be on the receiving end of US financial and logistic support when its troops are on the Caribbean island state.