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Kibaki vows to defend Kenya's territory

Thursday October 20 2011

President Kibaki and Chief of Defence Forces Julius Karangi during for the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi, October 20, 2011. The President vowed to defend Kenya's territorial integrity. STEPHEN MUDIARI

President Kibaki and Chief of Defence Forces Julius Karangi during for the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi, October 20, 2011. The President vowed to defend Kenya's territorial integrity. STEPHEN MUDIARI  

By LUCAS BARASA

President Kibaki has vowed to defend Kenya’s territorial integrity as Kenyan security forces take over Ras Kamboni in Somalia from al Shabaab militia.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga announced Kenya’s success in taking over Ras Kamboni during Mashujaa Day celebrations at the Nyayo National Stadium Thursday.

“We are fighting the criminal group. Today we have taken over Ras Kamboni. We will fight them until we are secure,” Mr Odinga said during the second Mashujaa Day which was formerly marked as Kenyatta Day.

Speaking for the first time since Kenya launched war on al Shabaab on Sunday, President Kibaki noted that the security of the country is paramount and that the government will provide adequate security in all parts.

“We will defend our territorial integrity through all measures necessary to ensure peace and stability,” the President said.

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The Head of State, who is also the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces, said Kenya’s security forces have began operations within and outside the country’s borders against militants who have sought to destabilise the nation.

“In this regard, we are working closely with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, IGAD and the African Union,” the President said.

The President hailed soldiers who are engaged in the operation dubbed “Operation Linda Nchi.”

“We pray for their safety and security as they embark on defending our country, as we decisively deal with this threat to our national security. These men and women are protecting our sovereignty. As a country we should support these brave modern day heroes,” the President said.

The President, however, said each Kenyan has a role to play to ensure “no one among us, is used to disrupt peace and stability.”

“We should all be vigilant and as true patriots, ensure that we identify the bad elements among us. The hospitality of the Kenyan people must never be abused by some bad elements.”

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka also commended the military led by Chief of Defence Forces Gen Julius Karangi for defending Kenya’s soil.

“Even our founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta said not even an inch of our country will be taken by anyone,” Mr Musyoka said.

He said Kenyans should be united as the country battles Al shabab adding that even Parliament was together with the President as the Commander in Chief.

He described Kenya’s military as courageous and prepared to ensure the country is protected.

Mr Odinga said al Shabab had brought myriad of problems to the country.

“We are fighting the militia responsible for kidnap and killing of our people. We want to secure our country,” Mr Odinga said.

On Wednesday, Kenya troops were pushing forward towards an al Shabaab stronghold of Afmadow in southern Somalia. However, the military thrust has been hampered by heavy rain.

The army has already captured Dhobley and Tabda, key al Shabaab towns. It ultimate target is Kismayu.

Kenya's operation in Somalia started on Sunday.