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Saturday, June 23, 2018


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Your Excellency, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of the Federal Republic of Somalia,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon.  We gather today to celebrate the lives, to honour the service, and to mourn the deaths of those in the Kenya Defence Forces who fell recently.  This occasion is sombre. This is not a day for many words.

Let me begin by welcoming our distinguished guests: Presidents Buhari of Nigeria, and Mohamud ofSomalia.

President Buhari is himself an outstanding soldier, having served in his national army. Throughout his service, he upheld the highest standards.  This is his first official visit to Kenya, and I am sure you will join me in welcoming him most warmly. President Mohamud has visited us before.  His presence here reminds of Somalia’s solidarity with our mission in his country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It must be admitted that these are trying times.  The men who fell served in difficult circumstances, far from home, all to keep us safe. Many of those whom they protect have trouble imagining how much courage their service demanded of them.  And yet these patriots stuck to their task, day after day, night after night.

When the enemy attacked, they fought with great bravery, to defend their camp, to protect each other,and to defeat the enemy in a foreign land that threatens us here at home.

Regrettably, some of them paid the ultimate price.  It is heart breaking.

As a parent, and as their Commander-in-Chief, my heart goes out to them, and to their families and loved ones.  Let me express mine,and the nation’s, deepest condolences for this loss. My prayers are with you.  The nation’s prayers are with you.  This country will stand by you, for your loved ones stood with us, and gave everything they had for our democracy, our peace and our security.

We owe these young patriots who gave everything a debt of honour.  We can begin to discharge it by resolving never to forget their sacrifices.  We must also make sure that every single one of the cowards who murdered them will be hunted down and brought to justice.  Our soldiers’ blood will not be shed in vain.

We are fighting a global war that requires a global response.  We are not alone. President Buhari, and Nigeria, are no strangers to the enemies we face.  Like us, he has had to face their unreasoning cruelty.

Like us, Nigeria has had to comfort the victims of terror, and the families of soldiers who paid the ultimate price. I want to reassure President Buhari that Kenya stands by and with you him and Nigeria in this struggle. We know a little of the pain you have had to endure, and it only strengthens our solidarity with you.

I want also to honour the patriotism and poise of our police officers today.  They have played a full part in the war on terror.

Though their work is sometimes overlooked, it is fitting that they too,should be remembered on this day.

Excellencies,

Fellow Kenyans,

With our allies, we will continue in Somalia to fulfill our mission.  Some,whose courage has failed them,want to give up the mission now. They want to retreat, to leave the field to the enemy in the hope that he will leave them alone.

They have forgotten that the enemy has made it clear he will follow us home.  And they have forgotten that,as good neighbors, we cannot leave the people of Somalia to the tender mercies of murderous terrorists.  The right thing to do, for the security of our country, the safety of the region, and for the memory of those who fell, is to complete the mission.

And indeed, now that the President of Somalia is here, he will make perfectly clear that the people of Somalia stand with us.

This is not the time to waver, or to listen to the voices of defeat and despair.  This is the time for the people and the Government of Somalia to choose peace and progress over violence, hatred and stagnation.

Let me close by asking all of you today to rededicate yourselves to the cause of peace and patriotism.  The enemy has declared his love of violence and hatred.  We know that evil cannot be driven out or defeated by evil – that violence and hatred cannot be defeated by more violence, or more hate.

We fight because our cause is just,because we want to restore a productive peace in Somalia, and to protect ourselves from an enemy that would destroy us.

We ask God to bless our cause, and protect our men and women in uniform; we ask Him to console the bereaved; and we pray that he will keep the souls of the fallen in eternal peace.

Your Excellencies, My troops, Fellow countrymen and women, I thank you.

ARMS OF THE GOVERNMENT

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