US gives Kenya Sh500m boats to fight terror

US government has given boats worth Sh500 million grant to Kenya Navy and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to help in the fight against terrorism.

In a statement, US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said the metal shark boats will reinforce Kenya Navy’s Maritime domain awareness capability and support the Kenyan blue economy.

He said the boats have exceptional capacity to operate in the challenging equatorial maritime environment, while simultaneously being rugged enough to endure extended operations with minimal maintenance hence they will bolster the Kenya Navy’s capability to deploy Kenyan rangers and other quick reaction forces from the sea, and to patrol and defend the more than 500 km maritime border.

“Today we reaffirm that the United States is and will remain your steadfast partner in the fight against terrorism and extremism. We are pleased today to make this important contribution to Kenyan and regional security and look forward to the excellent work the Kenya Navy will do with these vessels.

The metal sharks will bolster the Kenya Navy’s capacity to combat al Shabaab, an effort that will bring about a more stable and peaceful East Africa,” he said.

The ambassador said the 10 metal shark boats represent the largest US maritime security cooperation programme in sub-Saharan Africa, adding that the United States values the Kenyan commitment to building a more peaceful and secure Kenya and East Africa region.

At the same time, Godec said his country is committed to working with the Kenyan government to protect the country’s democracy by upholding the rule of law and fundamental rights.

He said though Kenya was still struggling to address challenges of post-election political tension in the country, it is time for Kenyans to address the gaps by finding solutions that would ensure protection of democratic rights and rule of law.

He was addressing journalists at Shimanzi Cargil Kenya Limited, during his one-day visit in Mombasa to inspect US government sponsored programmes.

Source: People Daily

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