British troops join Kenya Defence Force to support al-Shabaab offensive

Exercise Askari Thunder
British soldiers taking part in Exercise Askari Thunder in Kenya, are briefed on that day's training scenario (Picture: Crown copyright).

The first contingent of British soldiers have arrived in Somalia to support the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) in the battle against al-Shabaab.

The unit, which has been drawn from Force Troop Command, 1 Div and Field Army training, arrived on Monday and will form part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission to counter the threat posed by the Islamist militants.

The group of 10 is among 70 troops expected to be deployed in Somalia this year, following a commitment in September 2015 by UK Prime Minister David Cameron as he prepared to attend a summit at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Speaking at the time, Mr Cameron Cameron said that “all the right force protection arrangements” would be put in place to minimise the risk of harm.

The troops will offer medical, engineering and logistical support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said that the move reinforces the UK’s commitment to targeting terrorism around the world.

“This deployment is another demonstration of the flexibility and global reach of our Armed Forces. Alongside our efforts in Iraq, Syria and Nigeria, it shows our determination to tackle terrorism wherever it rears its head.”

– UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon

The assignments are part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) pledge to double the number of UK troops on UN peacekeeping tasks from the 300 currently deployed.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Good to see some practical help being given to combat this threat to national (and international) security!

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