Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) contingent comprising of 75 Military Police personnel on Saturday, June 5 returned home after completing their tour of duty under the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
Arriving at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on board a chartered Boeing 767 Ethiopian Airlines airplane, the service personnel alighted with flying the Kenyan flag high to a warm reception by the Deputy Army Commander Major General Albert Kendagor alongside senior officers and officers who commended them for the successful service in Darfur, Sudan.
Speaking during their arrival, Major General Kendagor congratulated the troops for their exemplary performance in Darfur.
“We are pleased with the work you have done, and have projected a good image of the KDF from the service you have rendered to the people of Sudan especially in preventing crime, investigation and engaging in protocol duties as assigned,” said Major General Kendagor.
The Deputy Army Commander indicated that the troops are returning home after UNAMID wound up its mandate on 31 December 2020 after which a six month window was given for troops drawdown and back-loading of country owned equipment ending June 2011.
Due to the Minisry of Health COVID-19 protocols, all troops will undergo mandatory isolation before they are allowed to reunite with their families.
The troops’ Officer Commanding Major Jackson Muthee said their core mandate while in the Mission area were military law and order enforcement, investigations, confinement operations and customs activities.
“We assisted the Force Commander in maintaining discipline and enforcing the UN standards of conduct by ensuring that all Military Personnel maintain the highest standards of behavior throughout their mission,” he said.
Sergeant Stephen Kirsiet said despite the challenges experienced in the mission area, the esprit de corps amongst the troops deployed to UNAMID enhanced their operations towards meeting their mandate.
Senior Private Hilda Makandi who was among the 10 female soldiers deployed to Darfur expressed her gratitude to have been considered for the mission saying their role is key in achievement of the mission objectives.
“Despite the harsh climatic conditions and language barriers, we managed to navigate the hurdles and am happy that there is realization of peace in Sudan.”
The military police contingent comprised of 75 personnel, 65 of whom were male while 10 were female, were deployed in Darfur in September 2019.
The African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operations in Darfur mission was established in July 2007 with the core mandate of protecting the civilians, in addition to contributing to security for humanitarian assistance, monitoring and verifying implementation of agreements, assisting an inclusive political process and contributing to the promotion of human rights and laws.