Uhuru travels to Djibouti for Amisom summit on fighting al Shabaab


Amisom Acting Force Commander, Major General Nakibus Lakara, tours a Kenyan Defence Forces base in El-Adde, a town in the southwestern Gedo region of Somalia, following an ambush by al Shabaab, January 22, 2016. Photo/ABDISALAN OMAR

President Uhuru Kenyatta left for Djibouti at 8am on Sunday for a heads of state summit for countries with troops in the African Union Mission in Somalia.

The summit will discuss and adopt proposals to revamp the mission’s operations in the war-torn country, to make it more effective in fighting terror group al Shabaab.

Amisom – created on January 19, 2007 by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council – is a regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations.

Troop-contributing countries are Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda, Burundi and Ethiopia. Al Shabaab has carried out attacks against the countries in retaliation.

The deadliest assault on Kenya was the killing on an unknown number of soldiers in El Adde on January 15. The terror group reported killing 63 but revised the number up to 100 and said it had captured other troops.

Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud was quoted by the BBC as saying it was difficult to lose 180-200 soldiers in a single day.

But KDF spokesman David Obonyo denied this and told the Star on phone last Thursday that the matter of the number of casualties in the ambush should not be trivialised

“I have never talked to any media house about the death toll. I dissociate myself from the utterances made. Everybody is affected by this,” Obonyo said.

The President returned on Friday from Israel where he discussed strengthening security and trade ties with President Reuven Rivlin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.