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Presidents talk tough

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Denzel Musumba

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Heads of State of Kenya, Somalia and Uganda have closed ranks over the need to stabilise the war-torn nation and build on recent military gains against Al Shabaab. As part of a new agreement, Kenyan troops will join the Amisom force operating in Mogadishu, alongside Ugandan and Burundian soldiers.
The force is under-strength, with just 9,300 troops, well shy of the optimum 12,000 the African Union recommended. The goal is to help the heavily pressed Amisom force retain control of the 98 per cent of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu that it recently recaptured from the insurgents, and allow the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to extend its control beyond the capital.President Kibaki’s office said in a statement that the meeting had "welcomed Kenya’s willingness to deploy troops to Amisom".

The statement did not say if Kenyan troops already inside southern Somalia would be included in the force, or whether the contribution would consist of a separate batch of troops.

About 3,000 members of the Kenya Defence Forces are said to be active in the battle against Al Shabaab.Click here

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